You are a powerful force for Democracy.  We'll pay you to prove it.

(Please note: applications for 2019 are still open from Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming.)

As a 2019-2020 Cooperative Energy Democracy Fellow, you’ll learn the most effective ways to educate and engage others in helping to restore authority and decision making to the co-op members.  This is both technical training as well as leadership development that will have a lasting impact on your career. This program will build your leadership skills, your co-op know-how, and connect you with a growing network of organizers, staff, trainers, and connections in the effort to restore democracy to electric cooperatives.

Right now, co-op member-owners need people who care about fairness, democracy, and opportunity for their community to fight for what is rightfully theirs.  Do you?

Fellows will have the unique opportunity to participate in a leadership development program focused on building critical skills for organizing in rural electric cooperatives. This same program has been part of democratic change campaigns in the US and 60+ countries around the world.  If chosen for this year’s Fellowship, you’ll learn to harness the power of grassroots organizing from the ground up. 

Benefits of Becoming a 2019-2020 Cooperative Energy Democracy Fellow:

  • Join a community of dozens of other electric co-op member-owners organizing for change in their co-op
  • Receive a monthly stipend of $500 (Sep-Dec 2019) and $1000 (Jan-May 2020)
  • Receive training and mentoring in critical grassroots organizing skills both online and in-person at a three-day training event (all costs included)
  • Access powerful tools, software, and membership data for your co-op
  • Learn effective methods of recruitment, leadership development, team formation, and implementing campaign tactics
  • Gain experience as a grassroots leader and connect with your community
  • Serve your community by restoring the full potential of your democratically-owned co-op and its powerful economic development and job creation opportunities
  • Invest in your own leadership and development, and strengthen your resume to be more competitive for future career opportunities
  • Network and build lasting relationships with other Fellows in the program

Fellowship Program includes:

  • Tuition and $500 monthly stipend for 12-week We Own It leadership development online program, Sep - Dec 2018
  • Transportation and accommodations for the in-person training (Jan 2020)
  • Personalized support and coaching throughout the entire Fellowship
  • $1000 monthly stipend Jan - May 2019 for your campaign work

Fellowship Program Commitment

The 2019-20 Fellowship will run from September 7, 2019 to May 31, 2020 in three phases.  It will require a time commitment from Fellows of approximately 10 hours per week. This commitment is broken down in more detail for each phase, below.

(1) Campaign development with online instruction, Sep - Dec 2019

The leadership development course will run for 12 weeks in 6 two-week cycles during which Fellows will recruit their leadership teams and develop campaign plans.  In each two-week cycle, there will be:

  • a 2 hour online session;
  • required course readings, about 2 hours;
  • campaign development field work, up to 12 hours;
  • a written assignment encouraging Fellows to reflect on their learning and growth;
  • optionally, 30 minutes additional one-on-one coaching with We Own It coaches.

(2) In-person training January 10th - 12th 2020

  • Three day, in-person campaign development workshop (location TBD), with transportation and accommodations included

(3) Organizing support and coaching program, Jan - May 2020

​From January to May 2020, Fellows and their teams will launch their campaigns with coaching and support from We Own It and other Fellows.  In each two-week period, there will be

  • 30 min of one-on-one coaching with We Own It coaches;
  • campaign organizing field work, up to 15 hours;
  • a 1 hour online session with a small group of Fellows;
  • once per month, a 90 minute online session with the full group of Fellows.

We Own It is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to equity. People of color, from disadvantaged communities, women, and LGBT candidates are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

  • Please complete the following application for WOI fellowship program 2019/20 by August 15th, 2019.  Please note, all questions must be completed for your application to be considered.   
  • Please upload a current resume or CV in either Word or PDF format. Please name your file as Lastname-Firstname (for example, "Skywalker-Luke.pdf")
  • If you have any questions or concerns while completing this application, please email  You are also highly encouraged to come to an Office Hours online session (see schedule here) to meet staff and talk through your project plans. 
  • We recommend that you draft your answers in a text file (such as Microsoft Word, Pages, or Google Doc), then copy and paste them here to to ensure that your answers won’t be lost if you're interrupted by a reboot, power outage, or network interruption before hitting "Submit."
  • No cover letter is required.  You will receive an email with additional questions about your project for you to answer, so save your writing juice for that!

Application Steps and Timeline

  1. This application below.  Once you submit that,
  2. You'll receive an email with additional written questions about your campaign project, due by July 1st.
  3. Our team will review your answers and, if your application advances, we will email you on July 13th to set up an interview by phone.
  4. We will then contact the references you provide, and, if accepted, extend a Fellowship offer to you between July 26th and August 2nd. (You'll have 48 hours to accept the offer.)
  5. If accepted, we'll see you at our kick-off online session the week of September 2nd!

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