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AGM Diversity Fellowship Program


July 19, 2010 - One of Associated Grant Makers (AGM)'s signature efforts has found a great new home.

AGM created the Diversity Fellowship Program in 2006 to ensure diversity in the philanthropic workplace, immediately and for the future. Through its efforts and thanks to key supporters, the majority of Fellows from three successful classes have already accepted jobs in the field of philanthropy. We can look forward to a not-so-distant future when people of color are appropriately represented as staff - and leaders - in charitable giving.

During strategic planning and leadership change last summer, AGM realized that it could not give the Diversity Fellows Program the priority it deserves. Happily, Proteus Fund, based in Amherst, MA, has offered the Fellowship a new home, starting later this summer after the current AGM Diversity Fellows finish their Fellowship.

One of Proteus Fund's strengths is the creation and management of collaborative grant making initiatives where foundations and individual donors pool resources to support work around specific issues. An example is the Piper Fund, a 12-year old effort that supports state-based organizations in all parts of the country working to increase the ability of advocates to follow the trail of political contributions, link those contribution patterns to subsequent voting records of elected officials and advance public funding of elections. To date, the Fund has awarded over $12 million to organizations and coalitions in 42 states and involved over 20 different funders.

"The Diversity Fellowship Program is an innovative model with a successful track record identifying and cultivating talented individuals of color representing the next generation of philanthropic leaders," says Meg Gage, Executive Director and President of the Proteus Fund. "Proteus Fund has been impressed with the results of this program in its first years and is eager to continue to grow and develop its important mission."

AGM Board Chair Mary Phillips thanks the Proteus Fund. "We have been pleased and honored to incubate a successful and much-needed program. We are confident that the Proteus Fund will take it to even new heights. We see this 'transition' as a developmental stage, but more importantly, as a win-win for everyone involved, especially the future Fellows and the field of philanthropy."

Phillips also thanks the many key funders and Fellows sites who made the first three classes possible. "Clearly, our work was possible because of the commitment of people who shared our concern and goals."

AGM released the results of an evaluation of the current program to funders at an event held in September. Proteus Fund has begun seeking 2010-2011 support and is recruiting funders to host Fellows. For more information, please contact Amber French at 413-256-0349 or

About Proteus Fund
The Proteus Fund is a national public foundation committed to advancing democracy, human rights and peace. Since 1994, Proteus has awarded $44 million to organizations committed to these goals. They work with individual donors and foundations to achieve their goals, through strategy development, research and fund management. Proteus is known for tailored grant making initiatives that are responsive, have high impact and integrate support for lobbying activity. Their work advances issues at the leading edge of democracy and social change.

The Diversity Fellowship Program is an excellent complement to Proteus' strategy development, research and fund management work and partnerships with donors and foundations. Proteus strongly believes that philanthropy is deepened when it reflects the perspectives, life experiences, and issues of our diverse society and particularly of the organizations and constituencies that philanthropy serves. The Diversity Fellowship Program is an innovative model with a successful track record identifying and cultivating talented individuals representing the next generation of philanthropic leaders. Proteus Fund has been impressed with the results of this program in its first years and is eager to continue to grow and develop its important mission. For more information about Proteus see

During the AGM Diversity Fellowship Program, a total of 14 fellows participated in the program, and ten area foundations served as host sites.

The First Class, 2006-2007
Jennifer Chin
Pamela Lomax
Quita Sullivan
Roger Wong

The Second Class, 2008-2009
Delia Arellano-Weddleton
Chaleta Huertas
Brenda Lavasta
Michelle Lee
Liz Miranda
Phung Pham

The Third Class, 2009-2010
Lindy Calzada
Jessica del Rosario
Ify Mora
Lucas Orwig

Host Sites have included: 
The Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation, GMA Foundations, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the Hyams Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, The Rhode Island Foundation, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley.

AGM Diversity Fellowship Advisory Committee