Sabbatical Grants provide support for a nonprofit organization during a period of Sabbatical for the nonprofit CEOs/EDs renewal.
The Sabbatical Grant program is currently available to the Executive Directors/CEOs of our grantee partners. The nonprofit must have received 3 years of unrestricted operating funds from The Trust or be a *grassroots organization that has received any unrestricted funds from The Trust. The CEO/ED must have worked in a nonprofit for at least 7 years, with at least 5 of those years as the CEO/ED. Executive Directors/CEOs of grassroots organizations are exempt from this requirement. The Trust will prioritize organizations with racially diverse leadership teams and CEOs of color.
Unrestricted funds include:
- Rapid Response Funds
- Operating Grants
- Multi-year Advocacy Grants
A maximum of $20,000 can be requested for a sabbatical. The grants can be used for the salaries of interim staff, stateside travel, housing, and learning opportunities for the CEO/ED. Learning opportunities can include personal/professional coaching, spiritual direction, management programs, retreats, and conferences. Requests for travel are limited to $5,000 of the maximum $20,000 request.
*A grassroots movement is one that uses the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to affect change at the local, regional, national, or international level. Grassroots movements are associated with bottom-up, rather than top-down decision making, and are sometimes considered more natural or spontaneous than more traditional power structures. 
In addition to meeting our general eligibility requirements, Sabbatical Grant applicants must also:
- Show organizational sustainability and be financially stable
- Be committed to taking a sabbatical of a minimum of three consecutive months without organizational contact
- Have received unrestricted operating funds from The Trust
- Guarantee continued employment status with on-going benefits provided during the period of leave
As a private foundation, our contribution beyond a certain budget percentage may tip a 501(c)(3) public charity into a 501(c)(3) private foundation status with the Internal Revenue Service. Learn more here about tipping.
Potential applicants are required to email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their interest in applying. Applications can be submitted anytime, but we encourage potential applicants to discuss their application with Abby 3-4 months prior to the anticipated start date.
Needs Assessment Questions
After discussing your interest with Abby, email responses to the following questions to email@example.com.
Why is now a good time, personally and professionally, for you to take a sabbatical? What issues or problems would you like to address during your sabbatical? How does your ProQOL* score reflect the personal and professional issues you are facing? (500 words)
*Download and complete the ProQOL tool to assess your current quality of life. Include those results with your proposal and project the change in score that you expect to achieve as a result of the sabbatical.
Please outline your proposed sabbatical plan and include the length of time, a timeline of specific activities/courses of study, and estimated costs. (500 words)
After discussing your needs assessment with Abby, email responses to the following questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Based on your ProQOL scores, what are your anticipated goals for the sabbatical? How will your proposed plan help you accomplish these goals? (200-word limit)
- Describe the organization’s temporary leadership plan. How will the CEO’s duties be covered during the sabbatical? How are you preparing the organization and staff for your absence? How will you transition from sabbatical back into the organization? (500-word limit)
- How will the staff benefit from your sabbatical? What additional compensation and support will be provided to staff taking on additional responsibilities? How will this enhance the existing staff’s leadership and professional development? (300-word limit)
- How would you personally operationalize the activities and/or course of study from sabbatical upon completion? (250-word limit)
- Describe how your organization plans to institutionalize and sustain the practices that were put into place by this grant once the grant term is completed. For example, would additional sabbaticals be offered in the future and/or other staff be eligible for sabbatical even in the absence of The Trust’s funding? (1,000-word limit)
Project Financial Information
- Budget Justification: Give a detailed description of what is included on each line item and how the totals per line item were reached. (1,250-word limit)
- A budget in the applicant’s preferred format
- Contact Information and Letter of Support from the Board Chair
- Organizational Chart that reflects the current leadership structure. (Please upload your chart as a pdf file and include the names and titles of staff.)
Please contact Abby Hyman for questions about Sabbatical Grants at (615)284-8271.
HOW ARE THESE GRANTS EVALUATED
We evaluate Sabbatical Grants based on responses to the following questions.
1. Does this agency align with our values and general eligibility criteria?
2. Has the applicant clearly explained the need for sabbatical and outlined activities to address those needs?
3. Is the pre-departure plan realistic and does it demonstrate the likelihood of organizational sustainability during the sabbatical?
4. Is the leadership, particularly the Board of Directors, committed to implementing this sabbatical program?
5. Does the application include specifics about how the staff will benefit?
6. Is the budget realistic and appropriate to the scope of the proposed program?
FINAL REPORT QUESTIONS
Sabbatical grantees are required to provide a verbal final report 30 days after the conclusion of the grant term. Please contact Abby to schedule a time for a verbal report. The questions below will guide the conversation during the verbal report. Please be prepared to discuss any unused grant funds.
1. How did you use the resources of the grant award? Were there any unexpected occurrences or problems?
2. What professional and personal insights have you gained as a result of your sabbatical?
3. Describe any pre-sabbatical habits you are leaving behind and any habits/routines/rituals that you plan to incorporate into your life post-sabbatical.
4. Describe the impact that the sabbatical has had on the staff and the organization.
5. What changes do you plan to make within the organization as a result of your sabbatical?