The application period for the Institute of a Democratic Future (IDF) Class of 2020 is now open. Our early application period continues through Sunday, November 10. The early application fee is $35. If you need a few extra days to pull your application materials together, we have an extended “late application period” that continues until Sunday, November 17; however, the application fee increases to $55. 

IDF is a six-month fellowship from January through June, occurring over eleven intensive weekends, plus a week in Washington DC. Programming for these weekends focuses on a diverse range of political topics. The program covers the nuts and bolts of campaigns and elections, geographic issues from around the state, and developing leadership skills with our fellows. IDF offers a rich curriculum, networking opportunities, and will leave participants with lasting ties to their current class and other alumni. Participants meet with elected officials, leading experts, business owners, lobbyists, nonprofit leaders, and people making a difference in their communities all over the state and in Washington D.C. We want our class members to get engaged in the political process while introducing them to the people and issues that are affecting our state.  Each year IDF graduates a “farm team” of progressive leaders who go out into the world and make a difference within campaigns, policy jobs, non profits, and in their communities.  

Prospective applicants must submit an online application form, resume, cover letter, and at least one letter of recommendation. Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 36 as of the start of the program, Friday, January 10, 2020. Final selection into the class will be based on an interview, to be conducted on December 7 or 8, 2019, in Seattle.

Tuition for our Class of 2020 in $630. Financial assistance and payment plans are available upon acceptance to the program. Admission is on a need-blind basis. Actual cost to IDF for running the program is approximately $1,300 per fellow, so please know that your tuition covers only a portion and generous donors to IDF support you with the rest. 

Please review the weekend dates below. Fellows are only allowed to miss up to two weekends and cannot miss the kickoff weekend or two consecutive weekends.

Deadlines and Other Dates 

  • Applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2019There is a $35 non-refundable application fee.
  • Applications must be submitted by November 10, 2019 (Late applications will be considered until November 17, 2019with an increased $55 nonrefundable application fee).
  • We will be hosting an IDF Recruitment Event, called the Annual Stoplight Party, on October 24, 2019 (location TBA). It’s an opportunity for you to come meet alumni, board members, staff, and ask questions about the program. 
  • Interviews will be scheduled shortly after the final application deadline. This year’s interviews will be Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 in Seattle.

Summary weekend calendar (Content subject to change):

  • January 10-12 (Friday evening – Sunday) – Kickoff
  • January 20-21 (Monday – Tuesday) Olympia (1 hotel night)
  • February 8-9 (Saturday – Sunday) Local Government/Pierce County
  • February 21-23 (Friday night- Sunday) Clark County/Thurston County (2 hotel nights)
  • March 7-8 (Saturday – Sunday) Kitsap Peninsula/Snohomish County
  • March 20-22 (Friday night – Sunday) Northwest WA weekend (2 hotel nights)
  • April 3-5 (Friday night – Sunday) Central WA (2 nights, 1 @ farm worker housing)
  • April 17-19 (Friday night – Sunday) SW Washington (2 hotel nights)
  • May 5-10 (Tuesday night – Saturday) Washington DC (4 hotel nights) – Dates may vary based on the congressional schedule
  • May 30-31 (Saturday – Sunday) Campaigns and Elections
  • June 5-7 (Friday night – Sunday) Eastern WA (2 hotel nights)
  • June 20 (Saturday) Speed Mentoring, Graduation

IDF Application Form

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