Nonprofits Utilize Student Programs for Mission-Critical Projects

S3-proj-teamSavvy nonprofits tap into all the resources available to them. Those resources include the skills, passion, and energy of Berkeley-Haas MBA and other grad students. Nonprofit organizations can benefit from two major community-based programs; Berkeley Board Fellows (BBF) and Social Sector Solutions (S3), both of which are accepting applications.

The Berkeley Board Fellows program is, at it’s core, about board excellence. Selected nonprofits simultaneously meet a critical board need, and provide a learning environment for future board leaders. Two grad students join the board as non-voting members. They complete a project through a board committee and receive insight into board service from a mentor. The Social Sector Solutions program provides accessible management consulting to tackle complex, strategic questions for nonprofits. Consulting teams are guided by experienced faculty and aided by McKinsey & Company coaches.

  BBF   S3
  • 2 fellows serve jointly   • 5 person consulting team
  • Oct – May (8 hrs/month)   • January – May (15 weeks)
  • Located in the Bay Area   • Any location (incl. int’l)
  • Provides board member training   • Provides team coach
  • 30 nonprofits   • 10 nonprofits
  • Free   • Fee-based
Board members at financial management training.

BBF nonprofit partners at financial management training.

How Students Help the Nonprofits

In Berkeley Board Fellows, the two fellows serving on the board will lead a project as part of the board committee they attend. BBF projects fall into 1 of 4 categories: 

  1. Performance measurement/assessment
  2. Business strategy/planning
  3. Financial management
  4. Marketing

Some sample projects from past Fellowships include:

  • Research and analyze three earned income ideas to support core mission.
  • Determine appropriate pricing for 2 afterschool programs.
  • Develop social media strategy recommendations to increase effectiveness of the organization’s profile.
  • Develop a board member dashboard to compile and display data to track progress on a new strategic plan.

Social Sector Solutions projects can be in any area, but must be of key, strategic concern for the organization and “big enough” to fully engage a team of 5 for 15 weeks.

Some examples of previous Social Sector Solutions projects include:

  • Develop a national program expansion strategy.
  • 10-year program impact evaluation.
  • Brand evaluation and improvement recommendations.
  • Create a sustainable financial model for a program or organization.
Students brainstorming an S3 project.

Students brainstorming an S3 project.

Which program is right for you?

Having a hard time deciding which great program can best propel your nonprofit toward mission success? The key may lay in the type of project you have in mind. Try asking this question: If we are not accepted into one of these programs, who would be tasked with executing the project?

If the answer is “another board member“, Berkeley Board Fellows may be right for you.

If the answer is “an external consultant/firm“, Social Sector Solutions is probably a fit.

 

Raise Your Hand to Show Your Interest!

The success stories from both programs abound. You can read some of them on this blog by clicking on the Berkeley Board Fellows or Social Sector Solutions content tag.

Full Program details and applications can be found at the Berkeley Board Fellows or Social Sector Solutions program pages. Questions related to these programs can be directed to:

Berkeley Board Fellows: Cathy Garza at cathy_garza@haas.berkeley.edu

Social Sector Solutions: Andrik Cardenas at andrik@haas.berkeley.edu

Student discussion a project plan.

Student discussing a project plan.

Advertisements

HSIF: Documenting Health Access in Nepal – Grace Lesser

This is the seventh post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.

4. Dhading DH Tent_Gorkha Mother

Mora, 29 years old: “This is my second child. More than this would be a challenge with the economics and with the health. If I don’t use a family planning method I’ll have another baby, and I don’t want that. Most women choose a permanent method for that reason. I will too.”

As an MBA/MPH student, Grace Lesser (2016) had the unique opportunity to receive both the UC Berkeley Global Health Reporting Fellowship and support from the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) and Rashell Young Fellowship this past summer. With these fellowships, she pursued a customer insights/photojournalism study on access to maternal and reproductive health services in post-earthquake Nepal with One Heart Worldwide (OHW), a maternal health NGO with an extraordinary boots-on-the-ground presence in relief efforts there. “My goal in doing this project,” Grace said, “was to provide a counterpoint to the dryness of the policy conversation, or the flatness of the funding dialogue. My original goal was to document narratives across several different countries, but when the earthquake hit Nepal and I had the opportunity to go through a relief organization with a real local presence, I focused my efforts on examining health access in the wake of the crisis.”

Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight – Joe Dougherty

Joe DoughertyJoe Dougherty, Partner and West Coast Leader, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Berkeley-Haas Lecturer

“Coming to Berkeley, I was delighted (but not surprised) by how smart, inquisitive, and creative the Haas MBA students are.”

Joe Dougherty first began teaching at Haas when fellow lecturer, Shashi Buluswar recommended that he co-teach the ‘Social Enterprises’ section of the Social Sector Solutions course in 2013. “I had taught graduate courses previously at UNC Wilmington and Johns Hopkins, and was delighted to have the chance to work with Haas,” said Joe. “It was a great course. I worked hard, but had a blast!”

This coming Spring, Joe will be teaching his first undergraduate class – Leadership in Nonprofits and Social Enterprises.  Joe hopes that students are able to take away the idea that:

“Managing a nonprofit or a social enterprise is more complicated than managing a traditional for-profit, because you serve two masters: financial performance (a.k.a. sustainability) and impact,” he said. “Also, the people who receive your services and the people who pay for them are often not the same, which introduces further challenges. At the same time, the work can be incredibly rewarding.”

Joe has worked with nonprofits and social enterprises in over 20 countries in addition to organizations in the United States. He is currently a part-owner of a global social enterprise, Dalberg. As Joe has said, “I’ve learned a few things about what seems to work – and what definitely does not work – and I hope to use this experience to help Berkeley students avoid the mistakes of the past and engage with the social sector in a more informed and insightful way.” He plans to use lessons learned from his various experiences outside the classroom to further enrich the course and provide insight to his students.

Social Impact Consulting Panel

Social Impact Consulting Panel

Jennifer Kawar and Laura Tilghman

Photo by Bruce Cook

November 9, 2015

The annual Social Impact Consulting Career Panel broke our own speaker series attendance record this year! It is always a popular event, and this year more than 100 people filled the room to hear the perspectives of the accomplished panel members. The all female panel was made up of distinct leaders in the social impact space and moderated by Kimberly Wright-Violich, the co-founder and managing partner of Tideline.

2015 Panelists:

  • Alison Colwell, Associate Director, Advisory Services, BSR
  • Jennifer Kawar, Chief Investment Officer, Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • Willa Seldon, Partner, Bridgespan Group
  • Laura Tilghman, Senior Consultant, FSG

Continue reading

Students Helping Students Helping the Community

Every year, the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) awards fellowships to first year full-time Haas MBA students taking summer internships at organizations in the non-profit or social sectors as well as for-profit social enterprises that have specific social impact goals. “The HSIF allows students to put their MBA skills toward great organizations and great causes without internship salary factoring as much into their decision,” said Robbie Heath (MBA16). Robbie is the MBA Association (MBAA) VP of Community, a position that traditionally leads the fundraising and award process. He got involved due to a desire to contribute: “I believe that a focus on social impact is something quite unique to the Haas culture. It is reflected in how we carry ourselves in our classes, conversations, clubs, events, etc., and the HSIF is just one way of ensuring that tradition of social focus continues.”

When students contribute to the HSIF, they are not directing their donation to specific organizations or causes. Rather, they are supporting classmates whose internships in the social sector offer a salary that is below average for MBA students. As Robbie explained, “Contributing to the HSIF is completely voluntary and allows classmates to support an entire portfolio of great candidates and projects that will really make a difference to these organizations and to the world.” Last year, there were 12 HSIF Fellows. Read about some of their experiences on the CSSL blog. Continue reading

Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom

Measuring 3 eggsThose of us working with businesses aiming to have a social impact have long promoted the idea that purpose and profit are not mutually exclusive. More recently, a companion idea has emerged. Like so many things at Berkeley-Haas, it was driven by students. This is the idea that you don’t have to wait until you graduate to apply your learning in meaningful ways. At the Center for Social Sector Leadership, we work hard to keep up with the student drive to have an impact, even before receiving their MBA degrees.

Enter Social Impact Metrics, a new MBA course that is offered in partnership with Amgen. The course is designed to advance nonprofit organizations’ ability to measure their programs’ effectiveness. The four participating organizations won a competition out of 16 applicants. Throughout the semester, teams of students will work with each organization to figure out a meaningful way to define and quantify hard-to-measure impact. Continue reading

Community Partner Spotlight – YMCA of San Francisco

ymcaYMCA of San Francisco
http://www.ymcasf.org/

With a focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the YMCA of San Francisco strives to nurture the potential of every youth, improves the bay area’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  The YMCA of SF builds strong kids, strong families and strong communities by enriching the lives of all people in spirit, mind and body.

To achieve their mission, The YMCA of SF has embarked on reaching an ambitious Vision and in order to do so they knew that they needed an external analysis of both partnership and defined structure around what it means to be healthy.  They sought the expertise The Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership and worked with two of the Center’s signature programs, Berkeley Board Fellows (BBF) and Social Sector Solutions (S3).

What is the YMCA of SF’s 2020 Vision?

“The healthiest children in America will live in the Bay Area, building the skills and habits for a healthy life, being empowered to reach their highest potential and make valuable contributions to society through the strength of the communities the YMCA of SF serves.”  Read more about the YMCA’s Vision as well as their 2014-2017 Strategic Plan.

Involvement with the Center

“We were fortunate enough to have two projects with the Center.  Both projects [were] very different but both heavily impacting the future of our work and future impact on the communities we serve”, states Marketing and Communications Executive, Jane Packer.

The Social Sector Solutions (S3) project also contributed to the Y’s strategic planning process by assisting the organization perform high level diagnostics of child health in the Bay Area, as well as identify priority areas for improvement. Because the YMCA is a complex organization with many partnership throughout the organization, its branch structure leads to local and city-wide partnerships which sometimes can overlap. The S3 analyzed this partnership landscape, which in turn led the YMCA of SF to a pilot collective impact initiative with its focus on “An Early Start to the Healthiest Self.” Through this initiative, the YMCA of SF could examine current and future partnerships to determine their fit. The S3 project, in creating the initiative, helped the organization understand the landscape of effort already underway in the Bay Area and that in order to be successful in collective impact, complementary partnerships are key.

The work of S3 has helped us to leverage a network approach through identifying stakeholders and common need in communities we serve,”  says Chuck Collins, President and CEO, YMCA of San Francisco.

The Berkeley Board Fellows (BBF) program assisted the YMCA of SF in defining the key dimensions of physical, social-emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being that characterize the “healthiest children” – an integral piece of the strategic planning process. Working with the organization’s staff, the BBF team developed a logic model to help the organization determine how to clarify its intended impact and the relationships between inputs, activities and desired outputs, and outcomes.   This logic model has since served as the guidepost when thinking about existing and future YMCA programs.

 

Top 5 Takeaways from Social Impact Consulting Career Panel

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Event: Social Impact Consulting Career Panel Date: Monday, November 3, 2014 Berkeley-Haas hosted panelists achieving social impact through careers in consulting. They shared their advice and personal experience with using consulting principles and projects on strategy, sustainability, evaluation, change management and others. With Kimberly Wright-Violich as moderator, the panelists provided insight on the challenges of their work as well […]

“Gamify” and “Ask Me Anything”: In Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership’s Solutions Lab, Haas Alumni Suggest Ways to Make MapLight’s Voter Education Tool Shareable

By Katherine Murtha

Were you happy about the turnout of the primary election last week?MapLight---client-intro-(1)-web

Berkeley nonprofit MapLight wants to help voters make educated decisions when they step into the voting booth. To that end, MapLight developed Voters Edge, a free online tool that provides voters with information about candidate and ballot measure funding and details on all the issues. But so far, MapLight’s Executive Director, Dan Newman, has been disappointed with the electorate’s lackluster response.

With a goal of getting two million Voters Edge users by January 2015, MapLight partnered with the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business to run a brainstorm session where Haas alums lent their creativity to brainstorm marketing ideas.

The group of seven alumni included MBAs who graduated in 1982, 2007, and 2014, as well as a Marketing PhD and alums from the undergraduate program.

Before they arrived, the Haas volunteers clicked through the Voters Edge tool and prepared questions for Dan and the MapLight team. After a warmup and brief overview, the volunteers got to work dreaming up ideas to make Voters Edge more shareable on social media.

For about 25 minutes, the Haas alums refined their top ideas. Then they made their pitches to nine members of MapLight’s staff, who stayed late so they could hear the ideas and give feedback.

Some of the ideas aired were for MapLight to “gamify” Voters Edge to incentivize users to share the tool online. MapLight’s team was interested in suggestions like hosting a bipartisan Reddit Ask Me Anything (or “AMA”) forum to raise awareness of the tool and the influence of money in politics.

The two hours flew by. Both clients and volunteers expressed interest in participating in another Solutions Lab, with a little more time for back and forth.

The MapLight Solutions Lab was the third of a three-session pilot run by the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership for Haas alumni. The next batch of client sessions will be held in the fall. Click here to learn more.

At Foundation for Sustainable Development, UC Berkeley-Haas Alumni Brainstorm Messaging through Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership’s Solutions Lab

By Katherine Murtha

Mireille Cronin-Mather had a question.pair-ideation-(2)for-web

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development – a 20-year-old nonprofit with 30 corporate partners and 10 sites worldwide – wondered how her organization could tell its story.

FSD sends teams of volunteers to sites around the world, where over short periods they train community members to run successful and financially sustainable organizations. Five years after these volunteer teams have come and gone, 79% of programs are still running. FSD credits this success to strong leaders within the communities.

Highlighting its asset-based, community-driven approach jars with the more commonly told narrative of international development organizations that solve problems for people in need. And that message had not been tested with a new potential donor pool: impact investors.

So on Thursday night, nine passionate alumni of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business got to work in FSD’s San Francisco office. The two-hour brainstorm and pitch session surfaced ideas for how FSD should make its case to donors from the social impact investing field. Continue reading