The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy


Wall with "Make Good" mural painted on it

Our fellowship program is a core component of our work to inform and advance social justice philanthropy. From numerous applications each year, we select eligible Heller students and help place them in philanthropy-related summer internships. For summer 2024, we will select up to three Sillerman Fellows and each fellow will be compensated $7000. (Reimbursement for some expenses, such as atypically costly travel, may be covered and is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.)  

We invite eligible Heller MPP, MBA*, SID, COEX, dual-degree Master's students and PhD students with an interest in the philanthropic sector to apply. Before applying, please be sure that your internship responsibilities will not conflict with the schedules and requirements of your academic program. You must complete a minimum of 300 hours of work at your internship site. 

Eligibility: Master’s degree and PhD students must have completed at least one full academic year by the summer of 2024 and must still be a student at the time of the internship. In other words, applicants must not be graduating any sooner than December 2024 in order to be eligible for this fellowship. Placements must be completed in the U.S.

*If you are an MBA student who will be completing your TCP and taking classes at the time of this fellowship, you are eligible to apply, but if selected as a Sillerman fellow, you can complete no more than a half-time fellowship throughout the summer. 

Fellows complete their summer internships at a U.S.-based grantmaking organization or foundation (e.g., a private foundation, a community foundation, a family foundation), philanthropy serving organization (e.g. United Philanthropy Forum), affinity group (e.g., Hispanics in Philanthropy) or a funder network (e.g. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees) anywhere in the U.S. Although this fellowship supports placements anywhere in the U.S, The Sillerman Center has the closest/strongest relationships with foundations and other philanthropic organizations in the Northeast. 

We encourage you to explore your own interest area/s by searching the Foundation Directory Online, through the Brandeis Library's Funding Database page and clicking on the above links to better understand the types of philanthropic organizations that exist within the U.S. philanthropic landscape prior to applying for this fellowship. 

Some recent internship sites for Sillerman Fellows include: The Boston Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, CFLeads, MetroWest Health Foundation, and many others. Please visit our past fellows page to see a comprehensive list of past placements. 

The practice of social justice philanthropy requires not only the application of a structural analysis but also an understanding of pressing social challenges. Social justice philanthropists are also concerned with making the sector itself more democratic, more racially and culturally diverse, more inclusive, and better informed by the people affected by the social problems philanthropists aim to solve. The Sillerman Center is committed to these goals. We believe equity, diversity, and inclusion — whether in terms of race, culture, ethnicity, disability status, socioeconomic background, LGBTQI identity, or any other dimension of human variation — enriches our work at Heller and the philanthropic sector. We strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply for our fellowship. Please know that even if you are not selected for a summer fellowship, we may still be able to assist you in finding other meaningful opportunities and connections within the philanthropic sector. If you are curious about philanthropy, we encourage you to reach out to us as a resource. 

Applications for the 2024 Fellowship will be due by February 16, 2024. If you have questions, please contact Sheryl Seller at