The Encore Fellowships Network organizes talented, experienced professionals to work paid fellowships with social-purpose organizations for six months to one year. The program is in its fifth year of operations and continues to focus on growth with fellowship opportunities in Arizona, California, New York, Oregon, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Washington and Washington D.C.

Throughout the organizations growth since 2009, they have managed to kept operation costs flat while scaling by fifteen times. The Encore Fellowships Network attributes its pilot’s success to the huge value it provided to each of the stakeholders involved. Another reason the pilot did so well was that it had clear primary objectives to measure. It demonstrated that professionals exiting private sector could apply skills to challenges faced by nonprofits, they could transition from for-profit to nonprofit when process was managed, and they could provide long term value to nonprofit organizations.

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Key takeaways:

  1. The scaling method that worked for Encore Career Fellowships was network scaling.  This technique allowed them to grow quickly, with greater reach, while reducing redundancy and increasing efficiency.

  2. Codifying processes and investing in online automation systems helped the program scale while keeping true to the objectives and delivery of the initial program.

  3. Strategic planning and formalization of processes does not necessarily stifle the creativity of bottom-up decision making.  In this case it allowed Encore to maintain the high level of quality and results it achieved in its pilot program while scaling.