Furthering a social cause - ND Impact Partners projects in Chicago and DC help nonprofits make big changes

Author: Tim Ponisciak


Ask more of business, ask more of yourself. This is the mission of the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame. In 2014, the Office of Graduate Alumni Relations launched a new initiative designed to help Mendoza alumni live out that mission, by contributing as part of a team of alumni working on a strategic project for a nonprofit. In 2015, six teams of alumni, spread across two cities helped four different nonprofits look beyond their day-to-day activities to strategize on big picture issues and challenges. Notre Dame Impact Partners is an initiative with the goal of providing an opportunity for Mendoza alumni to utilize their business skills and education in order to help a nonprofit more fully realize its mission. Teams of alumni work on a specific project with a nonprofit over the course of six months, with project focuses ranging from developing a sustainable model for a social enterprise to determining new growth strategies for a membership-based organization to determining the best strategies for retaining volunteers.

In 2015, teams worked with Catholic Charities’ Chicago and Washington, DC agencies, and also assisted Misericordia and the National Association for Down Syndrome, both based in Chicago. Recently, the team leader and client contact for one of the Catholic Charities projects sat down to discuss what this opportunity provided to both the nonprofit and the alumni volunteers.

The application process for nonprofits to submit a project for next year is now open. If you work for a nonprofit in Chicago or Washington, DC, have founded one, or sit on an organization’s board, we encourage you to submit a project idea for consideration. The deadline for nonprofit applications is December 23. The process for alumni to apply to join a team will begin in January. For questions, email Tim Ponisciak, Graduate Alumni Relations Director, at tponisci@nd.edu.