PAFR Fellowship Program

This unique program pairs students and local governments to create a Popular Annual Financial Report

What's a PAFR?

The Government Finance Officer Association's (GFOA) PAFR award program recognizes high quality popular annual financial reports that are designed to be readily accessible and easily understandable to the general public.

PAFRs provide important information about a local government’s finances, policies, and goals.

PAFRs are incredibly rich documents that combine financial analysis with communications. These are key skills for students to develop for future careers in local government leadership. 


About the PAFR Fellowship Program

This program connects students with local governments that wish to develop a PAFR for submission to the GFOA award program.

ELGL and GFOA will work together to match up students with local governments, and then support the students as they create a PAFR document.

Local governments and students will complete an application to be considered for a match.  Considerations like geographic location, organization size, and student skills and abilities will be used to determine matches. 

Local governments that have previously received recognition for their budget and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report documents, but have not yet produce a PAFR, are encouraged to apply to receive the coveted "Triple Crown" recognition from GFOA.

ELGL gfoa inspire

Local Government Role

This program fee is $250 for local governments. This fee includes submission to GFOA’s Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award Program at the conclusion of the Fellowship program.

Other local government expectations:

  • Local governments will be expected to have a point of contact for the graduate student to provide them with the data and information for the PAFR.
  • This point of contact should be available for consultation with the graduate student. In the first two weeks of the program, the point of contact will work with the student to develop a work plan that includes expectations around meeting frequency and modality that works for both.
  • Bi-weekly check-ins with the points of contact will be convened virtually to compare experiences and help manage the program. Because local governments use a wide variety of financial systems, the point of contact should anticipate providing data exports as needed in widely accessible formats (e.g. .xls, .csv, etc.) so the students have the information they need to develop a successful PAFR.
  • Similarly, students will need access to photos/graphics from the local government for the PAFR.
  • It is the responsibility of the local government to screen and review PAFR fellows according to their own personnel policies. This will not be done by ELGL or GFOA.
  • The program milestones and guidelines should be reviewed to ensure the local government has capacity to work with the Fellow to complete the PAFR.

Student Responsibilities

Students must be currently enrolled in a graduate program (e.g. MPA, MPP, MBA, etc.). Recent graduates may also participate in this program. Other student responsibilities:

  • Students will be expected to complete the PAFR by the end of the fellowship
  • Students will meet weekly for trainings including skill building on using Canva, Excel, reading Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, etc.
  • If a training cannot be attended live, the student is expected to watch the recording.
  • Because the work is remote, students should be comfortable with online work, and online meetings with their local government point of contact.
  • Upon completion of the first program milestone, the student will receive a $250 stipend. When the completed PAFR is submitted, the student will receive a second payment of $500 for a total program stipend of $750.
  • Free membership in GFOA and ELGL, and connection to GFOA student programs and chapters will also be provided to participating students. 
  • The program milestones and guidelines should be reviewed to ensure the Fellow has capacity to work with the local government to complete the PAFR.

Additional Program Information

Applications are due the end of the day on Friday, May 27. Acceptance notifications will be made May 31, and if accepted you will be notified of your match by Tuesday, June 6.

If the application below does not load, you can access the form directly at this link:

Program Dates

Students will be provided with weekly training sessions (available live and on-demand) as well as optional co-working time beginning the week of June 13 and running through the week of August 8. Live trainings take place Monday mornings at 9am PT. Optional co-working hours will take place weekly, time and dates TBD. Through the weeks of August 8 through August 29, students will work independently to finalize their document based on feedback from ELGL, GFOA, and their partners. 1x1 support is also available.

Summer 2022 Project Milestones

June 27, 2022
Milestone 1: Project Timeline and Work Plan Due

July 18, 2022
Milestone #2: Financial Data Compiled & Assembled

August 1, 2022
Milestone #3: Detailed Outline of PAFR Due

August 16, 2022
Milestone #4: Draft due to ELGL + Government for Review

Week of August 29, 2022
Milestone #5: Final PAFR Due to ELGL, GFOA, and Government

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