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Piper Fellows: Eligibility

Qualified Organizations

The candidate’s employing organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has provided services primarily within Maricopa County for at least 10 years* in human services, health, education, arts and culture, or religion. The employing organization must:

  • Fully support the candidate’s request for leave to participate in the Piper Fellows program and submit a work plan for organizational management during the candidate’s absence and upon the candidate’s return.
  • Guarantee all salary and benefits and continue full-time employee status of the candidate during the period of leave.
  • Be able to sustain regular operations during the candidate’s absence.


Strong candidates are leaders who have significant responsibilities for a nonprofit organization serving Maricopa County in the areas of human services, health, education, arts and culture, or religion. Employees of organizations classified as private foundations under Section 509(a) are not eligible. A candidate for the Piper Fellows program should:

  • Be an outstanding leader who has a demonstrated track record of leadership within the organization and service to the community.
  • Be responsible for a significant level of management of the organization’s programmatic or operational activities.
  • Have worked a minimum of seven years in the nonprofit sector, though not necessarily for a single organization.
  • Be a full-time employee of the applicant organization.

Requirements of a Piper Fellow

  • Begin his/her work plan in January of the year following selection.
  • Submit a report to Piper Trust within three months of completion of the Piper Fellowship. Reports should detail the professional development activities during the release period and how the experiences will be applied and help better serve the mission of the organization.
  • Participate in periodic activities during the fellowship year and in subsequent years to build on individual and shared experiences, foster continued professional development, and stimulate potential collaboration among the Piper Fellow organizations.

*Each year the selection committee may choose to award a fellowship(s) to an Emerging Leader(s) whose organization has operated for five or more years. For consideration, the nonprofit leader must meet all candidate-specific requirements.