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Alaska Fellows Program

Help us shore up contracts and understand COVID-19 liability

Help us understand how we can sustainably serve our fellows and partner communities during COVID-19.

Posted July 9, 2020

Background & Context

The Alaska Fellows Program (AFP) is a fall-to-spring residential fellowship program that nurtures the next generation of Alaska-based leaders by pairing talented young people with strong communities and professional mentors in nonprofit and public-sector organizations. Initially launched with a small pool of Yale graduates in 2014, the program now boasts alumni from 28 states and five countries and hosts fellows in Sitka, Anchorage, and Juneau. Forty-two percent of alumni continue to live and work in Alaska for a year or more following their fellowships. Fellows serve with a dynamic non-profit or public-sector organization for the seven-to-nine month fellowship term and receive modest living stipends and housing. Fellows live communally, work closely with professional mentors, and make lasting contributions to their host community. Fellows are backed by a well-connected team of community members that help make introductions, integrate Fellows into the community (e.g., Arctic Entries, Stardust Ball, Alaska Folk Fest), and share high-octane experiences in outdoor, civic, and community life. Our goal is to provide much-needed capacity for the community-oriented nonprofit and public-sector organizations that are working hard in areas that range from domestic violence legal services to housing authorities; and to provide our fellows with a pathway into meaningful, high-caliber nonprofit and government careers in these communities. For the first four years, AFP was run as a nights-and-weekends volunteer effort. Now, entering its seventh year, the program has a robust fee-for-service model, and places 22 fellows in positions each year. AFP is currently fiscally-sponsored and does not yet have 501c(3) status. As we expand, we want to make sure that our structures are sound and that we fully understand our legal responsibility to fellows and partner organizations. These questions have been on our minds for a while, but they feel increasingly urgent as we prepare to welcome a new class of fellows this September, in the midst of COVID-19. We want to make sure we understand potential liability and can be prepared to handle previously unforeseen risks.

Immediate Problem

By helping us to revise contracts and understand potential liability issues in the context of COVID, you will be helping us to manage risk as we welcome a new class of fellows. This support will allow us to set clear expectations, adapt to a new reality, and manage risk to help ensure that fellows are kept safe and healthy and that the program continues to exist.

Work & Deliverables

-Review our contracts and recommend revisions or additions, including a potential liability waiver or indemnification provision. -Provide a memo summarizing our potential liability in the context of COVID and, if relevant, identifying changes we can make to manage risk. -We are also looking to build a longer-term relationship with a lawyer to help us with occasional legal guidance on a variety of issues related to nonprofit and liability law.
Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Access to relevant contracts and other documents
  • Intro call with program director

Collaboration Phase

  • Provide a memo summarizing our potential liability in the context of COVID.
  • Review contracts and recommend revisions or additions, esp. in context of COVID

Wrap Up

  • Check-in with program director to review contract revisions and answer questions about memo

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 6-10 hours
  • Training Provided: No
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Signup Deadline: August 15, 2020
  • Deliverables Due: September 1, 2020
  • Mentoring Provided: No
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Alaska Fellows Program

The Alaska Fellows Program (AFP) is a fall-to-spring residential fellowship program that nurtures the next generation of Alaska-based leaders by pairing talented young people with strong communities and professional mentors. By attracting young, dynamic professionals to the state of Alaska, AFP arrests and reverses the “brain drain” of young people supersaturating in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and D.C. AFP also helps Alaska retain homegrown talent by connecting born-and-raised Alaskans with high-impact opportunities in their home state. Fellows serve with a dynamic non-profit or public-sector organization for the seven-to-nine month fellowship term and receive modest living stipends and housing. Fellows live communally, work closely with professional mentors, and make lasting contributions to their host community. Fellows attend opening and closing retreats as well as two facilitated “convenings” — events that draw together fellows across all three sites to cultivate connections, friendships, and common identity.

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