ZSR Accepting Applications for Sabbatical Program Program honors NC's nonprofit leaders for their service and commitment to the sector


Often, the most creative and inspirational leaders in the nonprofit sector are extremely committed to the work they do. However, because of this selfless dedication, they can reach a point of burnout, where they have completely expended their personal energy. A break allows them time to re-energize to return to work with fresh ideas and newfound momentum.
Since 1990, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has offered a Sabbatical Program to honor North Carolina’s nonprofit leaders for their dedicated service and commitment to the sector. Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has invested $3.3 million in the Sabbatical Program and provided awards to more than 145 nonprofit leaders.
The Foundation awards up to five sabbaticals every other year and is currently accepting applications for its 2021 Sabbatical ProgramThe deadline to apply is November 2, 2021. (Please note: ZSR Sabbaticals will not be offered again until 2023-2024.)
ZSR’s Sabbatical Program is intended to provide veteran nonprofit leaders with a three-to-six-month break from work that allows time to focus on their personal needs, growth and self-revitalization so that they can return to their organizations with a rejuvenated spirit and renewed sense of focus.

Individuals in paid, full-time executive level positions, who have served their North Carolina nonprofit organizations for at least three years (two of which in an executive level position), are eligible to apply for a sabbatical. For the 2021-2022 Sabbatical application year, the Foundation is allowing applications from eligible applicants who are experiencing a reduction in work due to COVID-19, but have still worked at least 35 hours/week (full-time) during the 24 months prior to March 2020 and have been employed with the same organization for the past three years. Preference is given to individuals with at least five years of experience with their organization. This program is not intended for public school, college, university or government employees, hospital administrators or full-time clergy.
The awarded compensation for individuals ($30,000) and $10,000* to each organization for planning and transition expenses, provides the financial support necessary for sabbatical recipients to temporarily leave their place of employment. (*Please note: Of the $10,000 to the organization, at least $5,000 must go toward activities that will enhance the recipient’s entire organization. For example, staff retreats, team building exercises, mentoring opportunities, and/or other activities to support the staff.)

For additional information about ZSR’s Sabbatical Program or to apply for a sabbatical, click here.
We encourage you to pass along this information to anyone who might be interested in this one-of-a-kind program. Please contact LaRita Bell (larita@zsr.org; 336-725-7541) with questions.