“One of the draws of this fellowship is that the Fellow gets to see work in the nonprofit sector through the lens of the foundation, grantee, and a consultant. This multifaceted experience allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the nonprofit ecosystem which is critical for creating a thoughtful and informed nonprofit professional at the conclusion of the fellowship.”
KACF Capacity Building Fellow 2022-23
Over 21 years of funding and providing organizational and leadership development support to the Korean American nonprofit community, KACF has seen first-hand and heard from nonprofit leaders of the critical need for bilingual and bicultural nonprofit professionals. In 2013, the Foundation launched the Capacity Building Fellowship Program in partnership with Community Resource Exchange to develop a pipeline of Korean American nonprofit professionals to address this issue.
Meet Our 2022-23 Capacity Building Fellow: HeeJae An
HeeJae An is a second-generation Korean American. He joined us as our Capacity Building Fellow in July 2022, coming to us with a background in human resources and child development research.
He had an opportunity to support the strategic growth of two of our grantee partners. Spending months on site at these organizations, Heejae worked closely with their leadership and staff to help them increase their capacity to make an impact. Through the consulting projects he led, HeeJae helped an organization that had recently expanded its geographic impact develop and implement a donor data management strategy and reimagine its talent management practices to support an increasingly multigenerational workforce.
Some of his other achievements include:
- conducting KACF’s first national survey of Korean-led and -serving nonprofits and foundations and presenting the findings with the leadership of participating organizations during our 2nd Annual National Convening of Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leaders;
- helping to design and launch a new leadership development cohort program aimed at cultivating the “middle layer” of leadership at Korean American nonprofits;
- producing a white paper on best practices for effective associate board development and leading a webinar to share the findings with the nonprofit community.
What he learned about himself through the fellowship:
“Even with my previous background in HR, I had never thought about how a person fits into an organization outside of a very practical and functional lens. Through this experience, I learned that I really enjoy doing this both in the practical sense but also in the personal sense. I loved learning about how people thought about their work, their future at the organization, and how they wanted to grow. Then taking this information and thinking about how to best utilize both their professional skills and their personal goals for the betterment of the organization gave me energy.”
So, what’s next for HeeJae?
After completing his fellowship, HeeJae has joined our partner organization Community Resource Exchange as an Associate Consultant where he will be pursuing his “passion for people” and helping support the growth and development of nonprofit leaders and organizations across New York City.
Learn more about KACF’s Capacity Building Fellowship Program: kacfny.org/cbfellow.