Questions About Eligibility
I work for an organization that is not headquartered in San Francisco, Alameda County, or Contra Costa County. Can I apply for the O2 Sabbatical Award?
My organization is located in San Francisco, Alameda County, and/or Contra Costa County, but we serve communities outside our county. Can I apply for the O2 Sabbatical Award?
My organization is located in San Francisco, Alameda County and/or Contra Costa County, but I live outside of these three counties. Am I eligible?
I work for a very small nonprofit organization. Am I eligible?
I work for a very large nonprofit organization. Am I eligible?
I am the director of a nonprofit school. Can I apply?
I am a senior staff member of my organization, but I’m not the executive director. Can I apply?
I will be retiring in the foreseeable future. Am I eligible?
I have had a successful run as the executive director of my organization, and I am thinking of what my next career move might be. Can I apply?
The eligibility requirements state that candidates must have worked for at least 10 years in the nonprofit sector without significant leave. I took a maternity/paternity leave when my children were born. Am I eligible?
Questions About Program Structure, Guidelines and Requirements
How many awards are granted?
What are the components of the grant award?
Sabbatical Funding: $40,000
Each award includes $40,000 toward the cost of the sabbatical. Funds are intended to help replace the executive director’s salary and benefits for three months, and to cover costs associated with their sabbatical experience (such as the awardee’s travel).
Stipend for Interim Leadership: $3,000
The award also includes $3,000 to be used as a stipend for the interim leader (or leadership team) in recognition of the additional responsibilities they will assume in the executive director’s absence.
Organizational Coaching: up to 15 hours
O2 Initiatives offers up to 15 hours of coaching in partnership with CompassPoint Nonprofit Services to help organizations prepare for the sabbatical, assist interim teams during the executive director’s leave, and provide support with re-entry and learning once the sabbatical is completed.
Staff Professional Development Fund: up to $7,500
In addition, awardees will be invited to request up to $7,500 to support professional development within their organizations. This component of the grant is intended to provide each awardee with seed funding to establish a Staff Professional Development Fund at his or her organization that will be maintained as an ongoing line item in their budget.
An initial $5,000 will be made available to awardees upon submission of a plan for the use of these funds. In the year following the sabbatical, an additional $2,500 will be made available in the structure of a 1:1 challenge match. O2 Initiatives will match every dollar the board raises or contributes up to $2,500. The intended goal of the challenge match is to deepen the organizations’ board engagement.
What is the purpose of the Staff Professional Development Fund component of the grant award? How could we use those funds?
As explained above, awardees will be invited to request up to $7,500 to support professional development within their organizations. This component of the grant is intended to provide each awardee with seed funding to establish a Staff Professional Development Fund at his or her organization that will be maintained as an ongoing line item in their budget.
The purpose of this funding is to enable staff to take advantage of skill-enhancing activities that your organization could not otherwise afford to underwrite. Examples of possible applications of the fund include seminar and workshop fees, professional travel, visits to peer organizations, or tuition for continuing education.
Awardees are also welcome to use the fund for team learning activities, which may be especially meaningful after the sabbatical. While the O2 Sabbatical Award includes 15 hours of coaching (to be used before, during, and after the sabbatical), some organizations have found it beneficial to continue working with their coach beyond the 15 hours to further leverage post-sabbatical learning. O2 Initiatives hopes that awardees will take the opportunity to capitalize on the learning that emerges from the sabbatical, either in partnership with their coach or through other activities.
When can I take my sabbatical?
My organization can’t spare me for a full three months. Can I apply for a shorter sabbatical? Or can I break my sabbatical into two shorter segments?
In fact, we feel that the sabbatical provides other members of the senior management team the unparalleled opportunity to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills in the executive director’s absence. This capacity-building component is an intentional goal of the O2 Sabbatical Award, and we will provide all awardees and their organizations with coaching and support before, during, and after the sabbatical.
Do I really need to cease all contact with my organization while I’m away on sabbatical?
What about my other professional commitments, like the boards and committees I sit on? Will I need to cease those activities during my sabbatical, as well?
Yes. Since a core premise of the sabbatical is to give executive directors a true break from work, we expect awardees to cease all professional activities during their sabbatical.