Another IC summer fellowship has come and gone, as our 17 summer fellows return to the familiar ritual of their classes and campus life. For ten weeks, from June to August, these students came from around the country and the world to participate in a weekly training curriculum and concurrently complete a consulting project for a nonprofit or social enterprise.
Since many of our consulting projects revolve around impact assessment, we know the importance of evaluation, and the challenge many social impact organizations face in measuring and making sense of the metrics that result from their programs.
On the training side, the purpose of our summer program is to help MBAs and Undergrads better understand how to leverage their skill sets on behalf of social sector organizations, and to get a feel for some of the challenges organizations and employees in the sector face. We measure this through pre- and post-program surveys, as well as surveys throughout the summer training curriculum.
- Our fellows reported they were 70% more familiar with the field of social enterprise after the program than they had been at the start.
- They also reported a 40-50% increase in their familiarity with the fields of nonprofit, impact investing, and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
- They reported significant increases (30%+) in their understanding of how they could personally contribute to social change, the challenges of working in the sector, and their preparedness to navigate those challenges.
- Finally, the fellows reported that the strength of their social sector network in NYC increased by 1.5X over the course of the program.
We’re thrilled by the success these results indicate, and grateful for the 17 fellows that put a great deal of work and thought into our training days and client projects.
The ultimate impact of our fellows' work still falls in that messy metrics category, since it's more difficult to measure the outcomes of their influence within the organizations they consulted for. While we can proudly say that 100% of our summer clients would recommend us to others and reported high satisfaction with their fellows' work, the impact of the work itself is more difficult to pinpoint within the larger context of each organization's ongoing operations.
Our clients listed the following among the most valuable contributions their summer fellows’ made:
“A deep dive into our analytics that was incredibly insightful and helpful."
“A brilliant and comprehensive plan and model"
“He made a new area for us understandable, and set forth a strategy that I think we can follow."
“They allowed us to focus and have dedicated support on a very meaningful project for the future of our organization."
“She helped bring various business metrics into focus."
We’re delighted at the mutual success of this summer’s fellowship program and consulting work, and we're eager to continue building capacity for business talent in the sector and providing continued access to this talent for terrific organizations.
We’ve expanded our consulting offering to add more access to our talent throughout the year, employee and board engagement strategies, and deeper preparation for the summer fellowship project. Know an organization we should be working with? Fill out our consulting interest form to get more information.