Application Announcement

O2 Sabbatical Award Application Now Available

Application Deadline: August 17, 2022

Eligible candidates are nonprofit executive directors in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties

The application for the next cohort of the O2 Sabbatical Award is now available here! The submission deadline is 5:00 pm PDT on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.   

Since 2015, the O2 Sabbatical Award has honored dedicated nonprofit executive directors in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties with an essential three-month break for rest and renewal. Sabbaticals recharge executive directors and empower leadership throughout an organization. The result is stronger and more resilient teams better prepared to partner with their communities to create positive change.

As stated powerfully by Regina Jackson, 2015 O2 Awardee and Former President and CEO of East Oakland Youth Development Center, “My commitment to self-care and taking necessary breaks came as a direct result of the sabbatical. It also gave me an opportunity to model a healthy work-life balance for the team, and this commitment continues today. Wellness and nonprofit work must go together.”

The O2 Sabbatical Award includes:

  • $50,000 toward the cost of the executive director’s three-month sabbatical
  • $15,000 in flexible funding to support staff professional development, as well as stipends for the interim leadership team in recognition of the additional responsibilities assumed in the executive director’s absence.
  • 25 hours of coaching to help organizations prepare for the sabbatical, advise interim leadership teams during the executive director’s leave, provide support with re-entry, and achieve organizational development goals (e.g., greater shared leadership, succession planning).
  • Participation in the O2 Peer Network, including annual gatherings and shared learning opportunities. This diverse group of Bay Area nonprofit leaders collectively invest in each other and strengthen the sector through dialogue, collaboration, and mutual support. O2 alumni also play a key role in the award program by serving on the selection committee and mentoring new awardees.

Sabbaticals can be transformational opportunities for nonprofits to strengthen leadership capacity throughout their organizations. According to Villy Wang, 2019 O2 Awardee and Founder and President of BAYCAT, “My O2 Sabbatical not only enriched me personally, it created space for our organization to explore distributed leadership models that were more sustainable and effective at achieving our mission. We’ve found that shared leadership is truly an anchor of equity.”

O2 Initiatives is committed to advancing race equity and strives to create a network of sabbatical awardees that is representative of the rich identities and communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. We strongly encourage executive directors who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to apply.

Sabbaticals are needed now more than ever for Bay Area nonprofit leaders. If you know an executive director who would benefit from a sabbatical, please share this announcement with them.

Please contact Program Officer, Allison Domicone ( with any questions.