The Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) acts as a “matchmaker” between Colorado College students who have an interest in the social sector and nonprofit organizations that are doing innovative work in the public interest.
PIFP offers paid summer and yearlong fellowships, which give CC students and graduates meaningful opportunities to explore possible career directions, gain practical work experience, and have an impact on the social issues of their state and communities. At the same time, PIFP partner organizations gain access to bright, highly competent, and energetic CC students, who enable the organizations to increase their capacity to improve the lives of others.
PIFP sponsored its first cohort of fellows in 2004, and over the years has placed 313 fellows with 73 organizations.Through its yearlong program alone, PIFP has employed close to 5 percent of CC’s graduating class during the past two years. Approximately 23 percent of the PIFP fellows are hired to stay on with their organizations after their fellowship terms are complete.
PIFP not only pairs CC students and non-profit organizations, but it also offers to subsidize a portion of the paid yearlong fellowships for many of these organizations. The stipend for a year-long fellow is $30,000, which many of our partners must fund entirely on their own. On average, the PIFP program provides $5,000 in funding for year-long fellowships.
Each year, 65-80 percent of the PIFP budget is designated toward helping our partnering organizations offset the cost of hiring PIFP fellows. These partner organizations provide necessary services to the Front Range – such as addressing hunger and homelessness, environmental education/sustainability, accessibility issues, LGBTQ equality, education reform, economic security/opportunity, and public health and healthcare – where much of their limited budgets are dedicated to the essential services they provide in our community.
As the PIFP program expands, more of these organizations are seeking to hire PIFP fellows, and more of them are applying for supplemental funding from the program. Under our current budget, some organizations that would like to hire a PIFP Fellow do not receive supplemental funding — which means that many of them simply cannot afford to take advantage of this opportunity to bring a fellow on board and increase their impact on their community.
Why You Should Contribute
Your contribution will enable PIFP to provide supplemental funding for PIFP fellows for partner organizations. This additional funding would allow organizations to participate that would otherwise miss out on the chance to provide a meaningful experience for a PIFP fellow and take advantage of having a passionate, quick-learning, problem-solving, CC student on their staff.
PIFP has been described as a “win-win” program, both for CC students and for our community partners. Your support will make it possible for future students and partners to take advantage of this win-win opportunity.