The Harvard Club of Australia (HCA), in partnership with the Australian Scholarships Foundation, is pleased to once again support not-for-profit leaders with an opportunity to study at Harvard Business School in the United States.

Program Overview

In recognition of the strong social and economic significance of the non-profit sector to the Australian community, The Harvard Club of Australia is offering 2 x Fellowships to attend the highly regarded six-day course Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management in July 2023 at the Harvard Business School.

The Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowships helps fulfill the increasing demand for managerial skills and strategic decision-making within the not-for-profit sector. The course will assist participants to examine their missions, develop new strategies and improve the effectiveness of their organisations.

About the course

Today’s non-profit organisations are faced with shifting demands for services, resource constraints, and diverse operational challenges. They must also learn to navigate the advent of new technology and new sources of funding. To fulfill their missions, non-profit leaders must step up their game and create organizations that can thrive in the midst of change. Exploring crucial concepts and skills for non-profit leadership, this program will prepare you to strengthen management and accountability while leading the evolution needed to create an effective, high-performing organization.

This program delivers the strategic perspectives, practical frameworks, and leadership skills you need to drive high performance across the organization. You will leave prepared to take decisive action and create a more responsive, successful, and sustainable non-profit organisation.

What you will learn

Through a rich learning experience that includes faculty presentations, case studies on non-profit organizations, group exercises, and structured and informal group discussions, you will explore how today’s non-profit leaders are tackling a broad range of challenges. As you enhance core skills crucial to leading non-profit organizations, you will prepare to implement new strategies and drive change across your organisation.

Who should attend?

Not-for-profit executive directors and chief executive officers who are responsible for shaping the direction, mission, policies, and major programs of their organisations – and who have been in their current role for at least one year by the program start date. Participating organisations must be public-serving non-profits, fully operational, and out of the start-up phase; they typically have operating budgets in excess of US$1 million.

Patrick Reid, CEO, Illawarra Retirement Trust

Harvard Club of Australia – Ferris Family Fellowship recipient 2022

“Many executives would agree that a bulk of our experience has been accomplished while running businesses in stable environments. During ongoing reform and Covid challenges, the aged care sector is experiencing scenarios that would have once been considered improbable or impossible. The intensive week at Harvard will enable myself and IRT to walk away with an action plan of peer reviewed strategic perspectives, practical frameworks, and leadership skills – an experience and opportunity no business leader could refuse.”

Course details

Recipients of the 2023 Ferris Family Fellowships will attend the Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management course in 2023.

  • Course location: Harvard Business School campus, Boston, United States
  • Course dates: 9 July to 15 July 2023.


Deborah Attard Portughes

Deborah Attard Portughes, CEO, Womens and Infants Research Foundation

Harvard Club of Australia – Ferris Family Fellowship recipient 2022

“The greatest single impact was accessing the remarkable peers on the course: spending time with people facing similar challenges and opportunities, sharing stories in a safe and enriching environment, and being challenged on my assumptions.”

Key dates

Applications open Monday 5 December 2022
Applications close Sunday 5 February 2023
Shortlist interviews w/c Monday March 20, 2023
Scholarships awarded (all applicants notified of outcome) Friday March 24, 2023
Ferris Family Fellowship Awards luncheon (Sydney) May 2023
Course dates 9 July to 15 July 2023
Save these important dates in your calendar

Scholarship inclusions

There are 2 x Ferris Family Fellowships available for 2023

The award of $A15,000 each covers the course fees, accommodation, meals, and travel to/from Boston. HCA also encourages Fellows to visit kindred organisations while in North America.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants for the 2023 Fellowships must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
  • Be the full-time head of their organisation (Chief Executive or equivalent, such as General Manager or Executive Director)
  • Have been in that organisation in that role or directly reporting to it for at least 12 months
  • Be committed to full-time attendance at the 2023 SPNM course and to live on campus.
  • Have not previously attended this or any similar course.
  • Commit to attend the Harvard Club’s Awards event to be held in Sydney in May 2023 (date to be announced), at noon.

The applicant must lead a not-for-profit organisation that:

  • Has at least 5 full-time employees and an operating budget greater than AUS$1.5 million
  • Directly serves the Australian community and is not principally a fundraising, advocacy or coordinating entity 
  • Has a functioning Board of Directors; is audited and produces an Annual Report
  • Meets the Australian definition of a Non-profit, with Deductible Gift Recipient 1 (DGR1) status.

The selection of Fellows will be based on the same basis as Harvard uses to select course participants. Particular emphasis will be placed on:

  • The specific challenge/opportunity the applicant wishes to address at the SPNM course
  • The applicant’s overall goals and vision in attending the course
  • The organisation’s and the applicant’s ability to have impact in the community
  • The applicant’s ability to improve non-profit leadership skills within Australia.

Application process

The Australian Scholarships Foundation is proud to support the Harvard Club of Australia by facilitating and managing the application process on its behalf. To apply for a Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowship, please complete the online application process via the Australian Scholarships Foundation application portal. Follow these five simple steps:

  1. Click the ‘APPLY NOW‘ button at the top of the page
  2. Follow the prompts to sign in or create a profile (this will be a hub from which you can apply for any scholarships in future)
  3. Complete the online application form
  4. Follow the prompts to upload an endorsement letter* and your organisations structure chart
  5. You will receive an automated confirmation email once you’ve submitted your application successfully.

*Endorsement letters should be written by the chair of your organisation. Please see #12 of our FAQ’s page for some tips on what to include.

If you need assistance with the application process, please contact Australian Scholarships Foundation before the application deadline. Late applications will not be accepted.

Assessment process

The Harvard Club of Australia will be managing the assessment, interview and selection process for this scholarship. If you have any questions about this process, please contact HCA directly.

Past Fellows

Hear previous Harvard Club of Australia fellowship recipients speak about the impact of the scholarship on their not-for-profit organisations, and their careers.

More information on last year’s winners, and the Ferris Family Foundation, can be found here.

More information

For more information about the program, please click here. For fellowship queries and assistance with the application process, please contact the team at Australian Scholarships Foundation before the application deadline.

Applications for the Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowships will close Sunday, 5 February 2023 at 11.59pm AEDT.

2022 Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Fellowship recipients Deborah Attard Portughes and Patrick Reid were announced in May 2022.

Read the full press release at this link.