Stanton Fellowship

“As a result of the Stanton Fellowship, I am engaged in the city in new ways, working with different people.” -Lisa Watson

The Stanton Fellowship allows leaders to test a hunch, and to leverage their knowledge and contacts.

We are seeking the most knowledgeable, inquisitive, and highly networked leaders – the ones who are best positioned to identify and make headway on a big question.

The Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship provides up to six fellows with $100,000 each over a two-year period to think deeply about big questions in their sector, and to tease out approaches that will improve life for the people of L.A.

Peer learning is an important part of the Stanton Fellowship. Fellows meet regularly to share their work, learn from one another about their respective fields and projects, and discover more about LA from site visits to different neighborhoods and hearing from local experts. They come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and bring curiosity and engagement to a cross-disciplinary network.


  • Enable Los Angeles leaders to tease out and test solutions to complex challenges in their field, to improve the lives of people living in Los Angeles
  • Support open inquiry and intellectual stimulation for creative thinkers in LA
  • Create a cross-disciplinary network of leaders to share ideas and resources

What If: Insights from a Decade of Philanthropic R&D

This report outlines the benefits, learning, and success stories from the first 10 years of the Stanton Fellowship and provides a blueprint for how other organizations can foster open inquiry, leadership development, and cross-sector collaboration to advance big ideas and groundbreaking solutions.