CMG places talented filmmakers and media strategists in positions within host organizations who are working toward providing sanctuary for marine life, reducing ocean plastic at its source, or transitioning to a low-carbon economy. CMG Fellows are funded by CMG with host organizations contributing a combination of matching funds, in kind support and staff time. In addition to allowing video activists to pursue their creative conservation work within an existing organization, the CMG Fellowship Program also increases the capacity of host organizations to communicate their message and to measure impact.
What is the CMG Fellows Program?
Through our CMG Fellows Program, we pair exceptional media makers and strategists in paid fellowships with established conservation organizations. Fellowships typically run for 3–12 months as part-time or full-time positions. While the filmmaker or strategist receives the fellowship from CMG, the host organizations are intrinsically involved in determining, overseeing and reporting on the activities & objectives of the CMG Fellow during the fellowship. A CMG fellow may be a filmmaker, social media strategist, or communications specialist and is typically selected from our yearly Catalyst Workshop participants.
What is expected from a CMG Fellow & Host Organization?
Depending on the host organization's needs for building communications capacity, CMG Fellows assist with, and often lead, video-based campaigns and projects. CMG offers financial and advisory support for our CMG Fellows in the form of a working stipend and ongoing mentorship. Partner organizations host CMG Fellows on site at their offices, providing them with space and equipment with which to work, a direct organizational supervisor, and, in most cases, a set budget for projects and objectives. Host organizations are expected to commit to the full fellowship period with matching funds and/or matching in kind support.
A CMG Fellow's task is to help their host organization better utilize video as a way to create measurable change in the organization's mission and programs. This could mean working on a video for a specific, established campaign, or it could mean developing new campaigns. The CMG Fellow's work may also include developing communications strategies that integrate video, assessing an organization's current use of video, or assisting (and sometimes leading) organization staff on a video production. Fellowship objectives and tasks may range from video production to project management, strategy, distribution, and impact measurement, depending on the CMG Fellow's skill set and the host organization's needs.
Host organizations commit to providing a welcoming environment in which the CMG Fellow can most effectively assist the organization. This includes making sure the CMG Fellow is part of the working organizational team, providing an organizational supervisor who works with the fellow to define and review projects, and offering support for the projects on which the CMG Fellow is working. A vested interest in new ideas and an openness to the evaluation of the organization's current communications & video use is essential to the success of the fellowship's purpose of increasing capacity for the use of video.
The CMG Fellow Process
Fellowship Plan. Once a fellowship candidate is identified, CMG works with the candidate and organization to develop a proposed fellow plan. The fellowship plan consists of a detailed description specific to the host organization that outlines the position, goals, and deliverables of the CMG Fellow and the host during the fellowship term. Host organizations are also expected to propose a plan for integrating video and potentially creating new communications staff positions beyond the fellowship term. This plan then becomes the basis for an agreement between CMG, the host organization and the CMG Fellow.
Fellowship Period. During the fellowship period, host organizations play a major role in the day-to-day work of the CMG Fellows. The host supports their CMG Fellow internally during the their tenure with direct supervision and other resources afforded to other employees, such as office space & equipment. In addition, CMG staff will offer mentorship, goal tracking and support meetings to CMG Fellows during their tenure to assist them with long-term objectives. Regular reporting to CMG & updates to the fellowship plan are also required.
Post-Fellowship. After the fellowship period, CMG Fellows and host organizations must submit reports on their fellowship period, including impact measurement and recommended next steps for the host organization. Host organizations are expected to continue to build on the work of the CMG Fellow, including the possibility of creating a permanent position for the Fellow or another individual in a similar role, and continuing any programs or projects the Fellow has initiated. A CMG Fellow's tenure may also be extended beyond the initial fellowship period, on a case-by-case basis. The CMG Fellowship Program is aimed at increasing capacity for the host organization and it is expected that the effect of the CMG Fellow's work will be long-term within the host organization.
How to Apply
Fellow Candidates: Currently, CMG does not accept unsolicited CMG Fellow applications from individuals. The best way to be considered for a CMG fellowship is to attend one of our Catalyst Workshops. Attending our workshops gives us a chance to get to know you, as well as for you to make connections with other attendees whose organizations may be potential hosts for a fellowship position. Based on your strengths and interests, as well as available opportunities, CMG may then faciliate a connection between a candidate fellow and a host organization to determine the possibility of a fellowship position.