Application Announcement

Announcing 2023 Application Dates for O2 Sabbatical Award

Application Period: June 7 – August 9, 2023

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

We are thrilled to announce the dates of the next application period for the O2 Sabbatical Award. Applications will become available on June 7, 2023, with a submission deadline of August 9, 2023.

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.

A sabbatical experience is deeply reinvigorating for nonprofit leaders. As stated by Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez, 2018 O2 Awardee and Co-Founder and Executive Director of RYSE Center, “I learned that I am more than my job and title, and to treat myself the same way I treat my team—with patience, love, and space to heal and renew.”

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 are not only transformational for an executive director; they are opportunities for nonprofits to strengthen leadership capacity throughout their organization. According to Emily Arnold-Fernández, 2017 O2 Awardee and Founder of Asylum Access, “The sabbatical helped us understand what it takes to position leaders to grow, and to take more seriously the need for a boss to ‘step back’ and make space for emerging leaders. It created an ongoing sense of shared leadership.”

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.

After the upcoming 2023 application, the O2 Sabbatical Award will be offered every other year with the following call for applications anticipated in 2025.

If you know an executive director who would benefit from a sabbatical, please share this announcement with them.

Please contact Program Officer, Allison Domicone ([email protected]) with any questions.