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HandsOn Leadership FAQ 

2019 HandsOn Leadership Program Requirements/Details:

  1. Commit to Workshop Schedule

  2. Attend a minimum of three volunteer projects through our Community Calendar (ideally as a team)

  3. Attend one HandsOn Bay Area Board meeting. Dates and times provided at kick-off

  4. Commit an additional five to ten hours per month for the practical skills application component, which will be done individually and with teams

  5. Work with the team to accomplish team goals

  6. Become a Project Leader with HandsOn Bay Area

How much does the program cost? 

We request an enrollment fee of $1,000 to participate in HandsOn Bay Area. This fee partially covers program costs including things like workshop facilitation, project supply budgets for the teams, venue management and volunteer meal costs, to name a few. That said, we have a generous sliding-scale, needs-based scholarship program to enable us to not turn anyone away for lack of funds (Anyone hoping to be considered for a scholarship will be automatically directed to the eligibility form at the end of our official Fellowship Application)

Do you have any suggestions on how to cover the enrollment fee?

The HandsOn Leadership program is a professional development program in which participants can exercise their skills in a new team-based environment for a good cause, which has influenced many participants to solicit support out of their employer's professional development budget. In addition to the clear benefits of investing in the human resources and developed skills of their staff, companies benefit greatly from the visibility aspects of having their employees in an organization like HandsOn Bay Area, where they are exposed to dozens of nonprofits throughout the region. If accepted in to the program, we are happy to provide you with any additional information to help you make the case to your supervisor of HR manager.

Is there an age minimum for the program?

Yes. Our HandsOn Leadership fellows vary widely in age and experience, but due to the content of the curriculum, the program does not cater to students under the age of 23 years old.

Do I have to be currently employed with a full-time position to enroll?

No, you do not. Whether you are retired and looking for a meaningful program to expand your network or in the middle of a career transition, we will happy consider your application for enrollment, as long as you have the time and capacity to commit to the program.

How will you select participants for the program?

When compiling teams of HandsOn Leadership participants, we primarily look in to team dynamics, paying close attention to need for a balanced variety of skills and backgrounds to make for a successful cohort.

How will you select for the Scholarships?

If you indicate a need for a scholarship on our application, you will be automatically directed to our eligibility form so that we can make an assessment based on your annual household income, any expectations of income increases or decreases, or if you are supporting any dependents. We will grant partial scholarships on a sliding scale based on your answers.

***NOTE - While we strive to be generous with our scholarships, we do rely on these enrollment fees to cover operational costs of the program. Many fellows subsidize their fee with their employee’s professional development budget, so please check and see if you have access to additional funds before submitting your request for financial assistance.

How often will the the HandsOn Leadership team(s) meet?

Brief team meetings will be factored into each of the scheduled workshop days to help teams with their goals progress, and keep each other accountable. Fellows will also be expected to attend projects, organized fundraisers, and coordinate touch-base meetings with their selected agency partner, as well. We estimate total time commitment to be 15-25 hours per month.

What type of goals are the HandsOn Leadership teams expected to accomplish in this program?

In addition to our workshop series and the abundance of volunteering opportunities through HandsOn Bay Area’s Community Calendar. Fellows get hands-on opportunities that expose them to the intricacies of volunteer leadership in the nonprofit sector. The primary team goals are:

Fundraising - Each fellow’s fundraising goal is $500. If a team is comprised of 9 fellows, the team’s goal would be $4,500.

  • 75% of all funds raised go to support HandsOn Bay Area
  • Remaining 25% of funds raised go to team budgets. Teams will use this funding at their discretion to support the execution of the team project(s)
    • Added Bonus - Once goal of $500/fellow is met, teams can allocate up to 50% of all additional budget toward project goals and selected agency partners

Nonprofit Engagement - Fellows will collaborate with one or more of HandsOn Bay Area’s long-lasting nonprofit partners to identify their greatest need, develop action plans and apply their skills to deliver some much needed impact and attention.

  • Fellows can work in one large group, or as many as three smaller groups, depending on team’s preferences and goals
  • Projects can range from developing a high impact, done-in-a-day service event to organizing and executing skills-based campaigns (marketing, database management, etc) to strengthen organizational capacity
  • Fellows will have HandsOn Bay Area support every step along the way

How are team projects identified and scheduled?

Prior to the program kick-off, HandsOn Bay Area staff lightly scope potential projects with local partners that can be supported by our teams of fellows. HandsOn Leadership teams work closely with the HandsOn Bay Area staff to help facilitate introductions and conversations with potential partners, whether they be a nonprofit, park or school in your region. With our long-standing position as provider of volunteer resources to the community, this will add a much-needed element of trust as you interact with potential partners and do you work on the field.

Aside from the enrollment fee, are there any other costs for participating?

There are no other costs for participating in the HandsOn Leadership program. Part of the enrollment fee goes to establishing a small starting budget to help with any expenses that may occur throughout the year. Participants should come prepared to work, which means they should have sturdy, closed-toed shoes, and clothing that they are willing to get dirty. If this is something you do not already have, then that would be an extra cost for you.

Can I participate in the program for less than four months?

In continuation with our efforts to maintain strong team dynamics, we expect each participant to commit to the full program and see through all of the goals and expectations set forth at the beginning of the year. For shorter-term commitment volunteer opportunities, check out our community calendar at

What is the refund policy?

Upon acceptance into the program, we request a non-refundable deposit of $200 to hold your spot. We request the full payment to be submitted no later then the official kick-off/orientation date. Refunds will be granted in case of emergencies after that date.

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