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Fellowships to USA and Canada Entrepreneurs to Develop
Ideas for a High-Impact Environmental and Social Ventures

Wild Gift Fellowship

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Wild Gift

Deadline Date:

01/05/22 5:00 PM PST


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Fellowships to USA and Canada entrepreneurs to develop ideas for innovative, high-impact environmental or social ventures. The purpose of the fellowship is to build character and resilience in participants and to provide them with technical assistance from dedicated professional mentors.

Each Fellowship begins with a 20-day team expedition in the Idaho wilderness. The expedition challenges each Fellow physically and emotionally and connects them to the natural world on a very personal level. Fellows are able to unplug, incubate ideas, and envision the true scope of their work and lives while building lifelong bonds with peers and mentors tackling similar challenges. After a year of monthly video calls and mentoring, Fellows return to Idaho to reconnect and float the Salmon River. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, Fellows are welcomed into an active group of alumni and supporters.

The 2022 Wild Gift fellowship is a 13-week experience composed of three parts. Participation in all three parts is a mandatory requirement of accepting the fellowship, including:

  • Three-week guided deep wilderness backpacking trek (May 2022; arrive in Salt Lake City, Utah May 13).
  • 10-week virtual fellowship (March-May 2022). The virtual fellowship will meet once per week for two hours per session. Sessions will include a combination of business and leadership workshops designed to support venture development and sessions dedicated to fellow development.
  • A virtual and/or in-person celebration with Wild Gift donors and their broader network (date and time TBD following trek).

Participants receive a lifetime membership in the vibrant Wild Gift Network that includes alumni, mentors, and supporters. All alumni are encouraged to attend the annual wilderness alumni retreat and celebration (timing TBD in Fall). 

In addition to offering leadership opportunities, the three-week trek also serves as an uninterrupted space to work on your venture. Structured workshops and unstructured conversations with your guide, facilitator and class of Fellows follow full days outdoors and end by a fire or in a tent or yurt. The trek aims to create an enduring community and connection to place that together helps sustain you and your social venture.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163352

Estimated Size of Grant:

Fellows receive a:
- Guided three-week deep wilderness trek in the Idaho backcountry
- Mid-Fellowship retreat self-organized by your fellow Fellows with support from Wild Gift
- Retreat and celebration in Sun Valley together with Wild Gift’s Board of Directors at the close of your Fellowship
- Two $500 allowances for airfare to Idaho
- Access to entrepreneurship mentor(s) who can work with you throughout the course of your Fellowship
- Opportunity to participate in Wild Gift alumni retreats and trips
- Lifetime membership in the vibrant Wild Gift Network that includes alumni, mentors, and supporters.

Term of Contract:

The fellowship program is for 12 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible candidates for the Fellowship should meet the following criteria:
- U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or Canadian citizen
- Between the ages of 21 and 35 as of September 1 of the year you will participate in the trek.
- At a minimum, you should have written plans for a social or environmental venture that serves the Wild Gift mission.
- You may apply for the Fellowship Program while you are a full-time student. However, you must have completed your studies by the beginning of your Fellowship period. If you are awarded a Wild Gift Fellowship, you are agreeing to make your social or environmental venture a primary focus during the Fellowship.
- Wild Gift seeks applications for innovative entrepreneurs creating high-impact social and environmental change, regardless of business structure.
- Preference will be given to applicants who come from diverse personal, professional, and cultural backgrounds and experiences including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education level, culture, religion, venture-focus, disability, physical appearance, or other differences.

- As a general rule, a book or film that the applicant believes will have a significant social impact does not qualify as an eligible venture
- Wild Gift does not fund discrete projects
- Wild Gift does not provide scholarship money or fund research.

Pre-Application Information:

The 2022 spring fellowship application is now open. The deadline is January 5, 2022 at 5pm PST.

Completed applications will be submitted to the selection committee, which is made up of Wild Gift board members, alumni and friends. You will be notified if further information is required.

Interviews are granted by invitation only. The interview plays a central part in the final selection process. Once you contact the Foundation, accepting an interview, a day that is convenient for both parties will be arranged. Where possible, they will be conducted by Skype or Google Hangout.

References for finalists will also be contacted by members of the Selection Committee.

Fellows are expected to be announced by late February (Spring Trek) and early July (Fall Trek).

Application Guidelines and FAQs:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply at:

Email if you have questions.

Wild Gift
P.O. Box 1151
Hailey, ID 83333

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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