HIA Featured in the Wall Street Journal

December 25, 2010 | senior fellows appeal

Humanity in Action was featured in the December 24 edition of the Wall Street Journal in the "Donor of the Day" column.  

The article, "Training Ground for Human-Rights Leaders," is about HIA and the philanthropic commitment of Senior Fellows to HIA's future.

The HIA article is available below and can be viewed on the Wall Street Journal website by clicking here.

Wall Street Journal

December 24, 2010

Training Ground for Human-Rights Leaders


To Philip Ugelow, the future of Humanity in Action lies in its senior fellows program. Mr. Ugelow is part of a network of young professionals that will help the New York-based nonprofit complete a fund-raising campaign this month with close to $20,000.


Philip Ugelow

The funds will pay for scholarships for the organization's marquee fellowship program, which sends students from around the world to a five-week summer institute in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Warsaw.

During the summer, fellows meet with academics, journalists, activists, elected officials and other leaders to discuss the history and current issues of minorities and promote human rights. The organization covers the costs of participation for the fellows, including accommodation.

At the end of the term, they are required to complete a final "action project," an outreach initiative where they take the lessons learned during their fellowships and implement them in their communities.

But the commitment to the fellowships doesn't stop there, says founder and executive director Judith Goldstein. "The trick is to have a very high-level, intense introductory program and to keep the dynamic going," she says.

Senior fellow networks, comprising fellowship graduates, support members' professional development though internship placements, annual meetings, conferences and financial assistance for projects.

The money raised in the campaign—while not a huge sum by the standards in many of New York's philanthropic circles—represents a 62% participation rate among the 450 or so U.S. fellows.

"We looked at Princeton University's 61% participation rate, which is the leader in higher education fund-raising and we wanted to do 1% better," says Mr. Ugelow, who participated in the fellowship program in 2001 and now works for Humanity in Action. "The future of our organization is going to lie with senior fellows from both a programmatic impact and a financial, fund-raising perspective," he says.

Humanity in Action's senior fellows program is the organization's answer to the concern of nonprofits across the country worrying about how to foster the next generation of donors. "We have a huge group of people between the ages of 40 to 60 who are not giving to charity," Ms. Goldstein says. "We need to start preparing the next generation of donors to be major supporters now, as they begin to achieve professional success."

To that end, last year the organization obtained a $1 million grant from the Dutch government to support activities for senior fellows. The nonprofit's board now includes numerous fellows and to date, the organization has placed more than 270 senior fellows in professional fellowships and internships with the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

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Philip Ugelow
Philip Ugelow
Senior Fellow