What is a sabbatical? A sabbatical is a three to six month period during which nonprofit leaders take a leave of absence from the organizations at which they work. Sabbatical recipients use this time to engage in non-professional development activities of their own choosing to aid in personal renewal and growth. While on sabbatical, award recipients travel, study, read, reflect, rest, and/or explore interests unrelated to their field of work.
What is the purpose of the sabbatical program? Sabbaticals offer individuals the opportunity to primarily focus on their personal needs and solely devote themselves to self-revitalization. The awarded compensation provides the financial support necessary to temporarily leave one’s place of employment. It is the Foundation’s hope that sabbatical recipients return recommitted to the challenges and rewards of public service and thus prolong their tenure in the not-for-profit sector.
Who should apply? Eligible applicants are individuals in paid, full-time leadership positions who have served their North Carolina nonprofit organizations for at least three years, two of which as leaders. Preference is given to individuals with at least five years of experience. Individuals who work for statewide, regional, or local nonprofit organizations may apply.This program is not designed for college, university or government employees.
Am I eligible for a sabbatical if my organization is based in North Carolina, but serves multiple areas? If the organization serves the people of North Carolina (even if it also serves people of other states), and is based in this state, you are eligible for a sabbatical.
Am I eligible for a sabbatical if my work does not fit within the Foundation’s grantmaking focus areas? Though the Foundation has designated five specific focus areas for its general grant making, leaders of any nonprofit field (other than public school, higher education, and government employees) may apply for a sabbatical.
How many sabbaticals are offered? The Foundation has typically awarded five sabbaticals each year, though numbers may vary from year to year.
How much financial support is included with each sabbatical award? Each recipient receives $25,000 shortly before their sabbatical begins. Awards are subject to federal and state income taxes. Recipient organizations decide whether to continue to keep sabbatical recipients on their payrolls during the sabbatical.
What are the requirements for receipt of the award? The sabbatical must begin before April of the year after selection and last for one continuous period of three to six months. Recipients are expected to be released completely from their organizational obligations during their sabbatical and to return to their organizations for at least the same length of time as their sabbatical. Recipient organizations decide whether to continue to keep sabbatical recipients on their payroll during the sabbatical.Regardless of this decision, the entire award amount will be paid to the recipient. Those selected must attend one and one half-day pre-sabbatical and post-sabbatical retreats. Recipients are expected to write an 800-1200 word typed report within a month of completing their sabbaticals and provide a short statement for the Foundation’s website. Sabbatical funds may be spent in any way that leads to the rejuvenation and self-revitalization of the nonprofit leaders who participate in the program.
How does an organizational leader apply? The application is now entirely online and may be accessed by visiting the Foundation’s website (www.zsr.org) and selecting “Application Process” under the Sabbatical Program tab.The next application deadline is December 1.
How are selections made? Initial applications are screened by a Selection Committee composed of representatives of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Advisory Panel, staff and former sabbatical recipients. Ten finalists are selected to meet with the Committee in February, and sabbatical award recipients are announced in February. The selection criteria include the accomplishments of the applicant, evidence of need for a sabbatical, the applicant’s potential for future contributions in his/her chosen field of work, and the difficulty of the applicant’s work environment.In addition, selections are based on the applicant’s timely completion of the application form and related information, the sabbatical description as it relates to personal renewal and professional growth, and the sabbatical budget. Applicants who are not selected for a sabbatical are invited and encouraged to reapply in subsequent years.
SABBATICAL PROGRAM ONLINE APPLICATION FAQs
Is the budget I submit with my application binding? Budgets submitted with sabbatical applications are not binding, but should represent your planned sabbatical activities as accurately as possible.
What should I do if I cannot determine exact costs for budget items? Please estimate the costs of individual budget items as well as you can.
What should I do if I am having technical difficulties with the online application? Please refer to the Technical Issues page. If after reviewing the information there you are still experiencing technical difficulty, please contact email@example.com.