The application for the 2016 Fellowship is now open

APPLY TO BE A WILD GIFT FELLOW                                          

Every year Wild Gift recruits a class of extraordinary young leaders to become Wild Gift Fellows. The Fellowship is a 16-month program that provides holistic support for upcoming social entrepreneurs pursuing break-through change. Successful applicants are visionaries committed to and capable of bringing about urgently needed change.

Read the application guidelines (FAQs) here

Start the application here


The Earth “is protesting for the wrong that we are doing to her, because of the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed on her…“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it…”

-Pope Francis, June 2015

This September, Wild Gift will begin recruiting for the 2016 Climate Change Collective (“CCC”) Fellowship that will run from June 2016 – September 2017.

The CCC Fellowship aims to support early-stage social entrepreneurs creating break-through approaches that will help adaptation to and/or mitigation of the impact of climate change on natural and human systems.  While we intentionally choose to broadly define “adaptation to and/or mitigation of climate change”, the following definitions borrowed from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are intended as guidance and examples:

Climate Change Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases.

The IPCC defines mitigation as: “An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.” Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behavior. It can be as complex as a plan for a new city, or as a simple as improvements to a cook stove design. Efforts underway around the world range from high-tech subway systems to bicycling paths and walkways, protecting natural carbon sinks like forests and oceans, or creating new sinks through silviculture or green agriculture are also elements of mitigation.

Climate Adaptation refers to the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences.

The IPCC defines adaptation as the “adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation.”

This focused cohort will encourage collaboration, sharing of field-specific knowledge and innovation to increase their combined impact.

The Fellowship includes:

  • 3 week orientation and deep trek in the Idaho wilderness with a focus on visioning
  • Up to $10,000 grant to seed social ventures
  • 15 months of one-on-one personal mentorship with ongoing access to robust network of professionals
  • Opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other innovators committed to finding solutions to the greatest challenge of our time
  • Lifetime membership in a vibrant and active network of leaders working to promote balance between people, resources and the values of wild nature
  • Synergy River Trip down the Salmon River at conclusion of Fellowship


  • Applicants must be 21-35 years old
  • Applicants must be American or Canadian citizens (venture can be located anywhere in the world)
  • Applicants must be willing and able to participate in a physically rigorous 16 day wilderness trek and a week long white water river rafting trip
  • Applicants must be able to commit to all the other requirements of the 16-month Fellowship
  • Applicants cannot be full-time students when the Fellowship begins. However, applicants can apply as a full-time student (i.e. graduating seniors are welcome to apply)
  • Social venture must address adaptation to and/or mitigation of the impact from climate change
  • Social venture must be early stage, normally meaning less than 2 years old. Organizations still in the idea stage are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Social venture must be the original idea of the applicant


  • September 1, 2015:      Initial application goes live
  • January 1, 2016:           Initial application deadline
  • March 1, 2016:              Finalists announced
  • March 20, 2016:            Second round applications due
  • May 5, 2016:                 New class announced
  • July 13, 2016:               Idaho Wilderness trek begins
  • September, 2017:         Synergy whitewater rafting trip

Here's what recent Fellows had to say about their trek experience:

Wild Gift gave us the unique opportunity to turn off distractions, to be immersed in a beautiful place, and to surround ourselves with inspiring people for 18-days. In an otherwise fast-paced world, the experience left me feeling refreshed and with an energy that I am taking back to my business.” –James Richards, Solar Dividend


The Wild Gift was more than a trip, it was an introduction to a new way of living and thinking grounded in the natural world.” –Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli


After sixteen days in the backcountry with Wild Gift, I feel a sense of mental clarity—as if all the clutter has been cut away and I have a clean slate. For me, that clarity is already helping me refine my business plan in new ways.” –Marty Schnure, Maps For Good


The Wild Gift’s deep wilderness trek allowed me to slow down and fill up on awe. I feel more even keeled and able to identify not only what is important for our business, but how we want to do it.”–Raj Vable, Young Mountain Tea