Design-Thinking workshop held in Hibbing to construct project scopes with stakeholders from across Iron Range

Constructing project scopes with local stakeholders in Hibbing, MN using LFA Convergent Leadership Model

"Lead for Minnesota is the catalyst that is bringing stakeholders across our communities and the Iron Range together for a common goal: to make our communities vibrant and sustainable. It has inspired and re-energized our communities beyond measure."

- Jennifer Hoffman, Hibbing City Counselor & President of the Hibbing Foundation



Welcome Diverse, Trained Talent
Fellows possess extraordinary integrity, drive, and commitment to public service. Each has access to a variety of mentors, trainings and conferences. Fellows receive a world-class training in public administration from faculty at UNC Chapel Hill, Harvard, Tufts, Georgetown, BU and other top schools, helping bolster their ability to contribute.

Address Immediate Workforce Challenges
Our training is designed to make our Fellows real contributors in your organization from the start. You should challenge the Fellows to tackle significant, tough problems.​ For outstanding host organizations that cannot pay for the full cost of the Fellow's scholarship, we may be able to work with your organization to raise funds through community philanthropies.

Make a Long-Term Investment 
Fellows are encouraged to work with partners in the community, including public institutions, small businesses and community-based nonprofits for four of the next seven years. Some will also be helping mentor, teach, or otherwise engage high school students. ​Fellows are selected for their demonstrated commitment to the community or region. 

Connect With Civically-Minded Organizations
We believe it is important that we connect our host institutions and organizational partners to one another. As such, all hosts are invited  to join our online community of forward-thinking community organizations. All hosts will also benefit from the resources of our university partners. 


What We Look For
In Hosts 

Challenging + Engaging Work

Fellows are dynamic, industrious and well-trained. We want to see proposals for interesting work and projects that would really move the needle for your community. The work must be directly related to strengthening and supporting civic institutions in your community.


Frequently asked questions

How do you choose host organizations for the Hometown Fellowship?

Lead For Minnesota is actively recruiting for host organizations who are excited to host a Fellow in their community. We prioritize local governments, community non-profits, and local businesses that play a critical role in strengthening their public institutions and advancing community renewal. Ideal host organizations are key community changemakers and can articulate how they'll engage a Fellow in their community revitalization work. Then, we accept applications from outstanding civic minded young leaders who call one of the communities in the confirmed pool home. While we seek to confirm most placements ahead of accepting Fellows, we do reserve a few slots for Fellow-proposed placements in communities outside of our confirmed pool. LFMN then connects Hometown Fellow Finalists with their proposed host communities in order for both sides to learn if the fellowship will be a good fit for them. LFMN will select Hometown Fellows and host organizations based off of the demonstration of need for the fellowship within the proposed community, the degree to which the proposed community could generally benefit from an influx of young leaders, the fit between the candidate's skill-set/background and the community, and the strength of the connection between the candidate and the community.

What is the cost to host a Fellow?

The exact host organization contribution varies based on the cost of living, size, and financial capabilities of the host organization. Based off of historical data, the average cost of hosting a Fellow is $45k/year. However, LFMN is committed to a flexible and locally-tailored funding model. We work closely with our host organization partners and our Fellows to determine a contribution that meets the needs of all involved parties, while keeping the fellowship financially accessible both for our host organizations and our Fellows! In cases where a host organization cannot afford the full cost of the fellowship, LFMN works with the host organization to raise the philanthropic and community capital to be able to provide the Fellow with the necessary education, support, and training. It is worth noting that the host organization contribution does not need to be fully met by the host organization itself. We encourage host organizations to engage philanthropic and business partners in the community to make hosting a more accessible and community-wide investment, or partner with another host organization to share the cost.

Who employs the Fellows?

For all legal purposes, the Fellow is not an employee or a contractor of Lead for America/Lead for Minnesota nor of the host organization. The Fellow is paid via scholarships from LFA per the rules of the IRS Fellowship classification due to the educational purpose of the program. Simply, host organizations provide financial contributions to LFA, and LFA provides the scholarship funds directly to the Fellows.

What does it mean to host a Fellow along a "track"?

LFMN offers 5 fellowship tracks: 1) General Local & Tribal Government; 2) Main Street | Economic Development; 3) Civic Artist | Creative Placemaking & Community Engagement; 4) Rural Resilience | Environmental Resilience & Sustainability; and 5) Propose-Your-Own. The general track allows a local or tribal government to craft their own project scope that falls outside of the other track areas, and is an all-encompassing track. Tracks 2-4 are topic-specific, but specific projects can vary. Each track is built and supported in partnership with statewide nonprofits: Rethos Minnesota Main Street, the Department of Public Transformation, and Voices for Rural Resilience respectively. This partnership connects the Fellow and your community to a statewide network of other communities focusing on similar topics, and a network of experienced practitioners. Our partner organizations will deliver training specific to this track in order to best prepare the Fellow to make immediate and significant impact in your community. The Propose-Your-Own track allows non-government organizations to host a Fellow. So long as the project scope is tied to systematic community renewal, an organization is eligible to host and can propose their own project scope or track.

What is the timeline for hosting?

For the Fall 2020 fellowship, we recruit for Fellows and host placements from October 2019-March 2020, with four fellow recruitment cycles throughout those months. We recommend host organizations apply to host as early in the recruitment cycle as possible so our team has ample time to recruit specifically for their community. The first step is to fill out a host interest form. From there, LFMN staff can talk through a timeline that works best for your community. For LFMN to post your placement onto our website as a "pre-confirmed" site, a general project scope should be constructed but not all the funding needs to be confirmed at that time. Rather, we ask that 85% of the funding for the placement be pledged or generally identified at this time so that we can begin recruitment and explore whether a match is possible. The host is not obligated to host a Fellow at this time, but we expect the Host to have significant buy-in from stakeholders to continue onwards with the hosting process. During the months of March-May, financial and contractual commitments will be solidified only after a Fellow/Host match has been confirmed.