The project started with a modest question: How could Mendoza alumni continue to use their business skills and acumen to benefit local nonprofits?
Five years later, there’s a strong answer in the form of the Notre Dame Impact Partners. The program pairs graduate alumni with a nonprofit in their own community for four months of work on a strategic project. Annual closing dinners were recently held for the Mendoza volunteers to present their recommendations to their partner organizations and to celebrate the teamwork, estimated at 10 hours per person per month.
ND Impact Partners started in Chicago in 2014 and expanded to Washington, D.C., in 2015, then South Bend two years ago. The program has seen dramatic growth: This year, 98 Mendoza alumni participated across 16 teams, up from four teams in the program’s first year.
Just as promisingly, Mendoza graduates are now sitting at both sides of the table, with alumni affiliated with local nonprofits submitting projects for fellow alums to work on. Mendoza’s Graduate Alumni Relations Director Tim Ponisciak is excited about both kinds of growth. “I think it showcases the fact that our alumni really believe in the mission of the College to ask more of business, to ask more of yourself and show how business can be a force for good,” he says.
The program’s volunteer work has entailed helping organizations reach new markets, start a new fundraising or anniversary campaign, or merge with a similar nonprofit, among other initiatives. This year in South Bend, for instance, a team worked on developing a 30th anniversary campaign for the Center for the Homeless.
“The ND Impact Partners were so accessible and willing to help in any ways that they could,” says Steve Camilleri (MNA ’01, ND ’94), the center’s director. “Without question, we will be implementing the recommendations made. We couldn’t believe how much information they provided in such a short amount of time that will benefit our team.”
— Lynn Freehill-Maye
To find out how you can get involved with Notre Dame Impact Partners, visit mcob.undgroup.org or contact Tim Ponisciak at email@example.com.