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.

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Philanthropy University: Magnet for Aspiring Leaders Worldwide

Philanthropy University

By Laura D. Tyson

Philanthropy University, the global online training program for social sector leaders that is anchored at Berkeley-Haas, has achieved even more in its first six months than most of us dared hope. The statistics from the first set of courses are worth mentioning:

• Original course offerings – 7
• Total enrollments – 412,844
• Unique users – nearly 200,000
• Nations represented – 193

Beyond the topline numbers, new data shows a remarkable geographic range and an untapped demand for professional training in leadership skills, organizational management, financing and scaling up of organizations committed to social impact.

Of the 18,000 enrollees who provided geographic data, 13.5% came from the United States but the nine other countries in the top ten were in Africa and Asia. The globally diverse top 10 nations were:

     Top 10 Represented Countries     
1. United States (13.5%)
2. Nigeria (9.2%)
3. India (7.6%)
4. Pakistan
5. The Philippines
6. Kenya
7. Ghana
8. Bangladesh
9. South Africa
10. Zimbabwe

Continue reading

Beyond Numbers – Strategic Financial Management for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Financial ModelIt’s not just you: Nonprofit financial management is difficult for several reasons. Even experienced finance industry professionals can struggle to understand the financial structure of a nonprofit whose board they join. Despite this reality, a little information goes a long way for board members trying to understand and engage with nonprofit finances.

This was the main theme of Brent Copen’s financial management presentation for select nonprofit board members. Previously recognized for his outstanding teaching, Brent is also the CFO of Tiburcio Vazquez Health Center in Union City, CA. He has worked with hundreds of nonprofit organizations through the years. He recently led a training as part of our Berkeley Board Fellows program.

Financial Management by Brent Copen

Brent Copen presents to Nonprofit Board Members

Brent’s presentation contained real-world examples, activities, and tools for board members. Here are three brief but important points among many from the presentation. Continue reading

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

HSIF: Impact Investing in Mexico – Anette Urbina Gamboa

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

Looking to transition to a Impact Investing career in her home country of Mexico, Anette Urbina Gamboa (MBA16) spent the summer working with IGNIA, a US$100 million venture capital firm investing in companies serving the base of the pyramid in Mexico. “IGNIA proved the perfect opportunity for me to gain exposure and work hand-in-hand with leaders and innovators in the field,” Anette said. “Their main focus is on investing in companies providing high-impact goods and services, such as healthcare, housing, financial services, and other basic services.”

A principle that resonated with Anette throughout her summer with IGNIA was: Question the status quo. She felt that the organization personified this principle its very core. With a history of social change only through governmental or philanthropic organizations, groups like IGNIA and other impact investing funds spurring a social entrepreneurship ecosystem, “the landscape is rapidly changing. It took a few early pioneers who dared to imagine a new way to deliver social good and forever alter the social impact landscape in Mexico.” 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.

Community Partner Spotlight – Project Open Hand

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Founded in 1985, Project Open Hand  is a nonprofit organization that provides meals with love to critically ill neighbors and seniors to fulfill their mission to nourish and engage their community.

Every day, more than 125 Project Open Hand volunteers prepare 2,500 nutritious meals and provide 200 bags of healthy groceries to help sustain their clients, as they battle serious illnesses, isolation, or the health challenges of old age in San Francisco and Alameda Counties.

For Seniors and Adults with Disabilities: The organization provides warm, nutritious lunch to seniors (age 60+) and adults with disabilities (age 18-59) at locations throughout San Francisco.

Project Open hand photo 2

Courtesy of Project Open Hand

For People Living with Critical Illness: Through Project Open Hand’s Wellness Programs, they provide nutritious, medically-tailored meals and groceries for pick up in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Home-delivered meals for clients who are homebound are offered as well. Registered dietitians support and counsel clients to help them feel better by eating right.

Involvement with the Center

“As we have expanded our services over the past several years, Nora Silver, Ben Mangan, and Jay Stowsky have served as strategic thought partners and an invaluable source of guidance,” said Hannah Levinson, a Development Officer for Project Open Hand. “We look forward to continuing our involvement on a larger scale through Social Sector Solutions!” Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight – Doug Galen, MBA 88

DougGalen hdshot Galen, BS 84, MBA 88
Co-Founder & CEO of Ripple Works: rippleworks.org
Lecturer at Berkeley-Haas and Stanford GSB

Doug Galen is passionate about building and scaling great companies that disrupt industries and drive innovation. He has had extensive experience in building and scaling startups and currently lectures at Berkeley-Haas and Stanford University. “I’ve learned how to make brutally hard decisions when you don’t have enough resources, and I’ve come to know what it’s like when a product is great vs. mediocre,” said Doug.

He is the founder and CEO of RippleWorks, where he now gets to play a role in helping companies scale as they do everything from solar panels in rural Tanzanian villages to micro-insurance for the poor across Africa and Asia.

The initial question at the core of RippleWorks was “How can we best help millions of people?”  It’s an overly ambitious, daunting quest.  But there already exist great social entrepreneurs well on their way to helping millions get out of poverty. The question then became, “How can we help?”  RippleWorks pairs promising social entrepreneurs around the world with tech and startup experts from Silicon Valley to jointly conquer specific scaling challenges of the social venture.

Impact through RippleWorks

RippleWorks is wrapping up its first cohort of companies that it has helped scale.   They have taken on projects ranging from cloud infrastructure to scaling call centers. The program pairs volunteer experts, who give 1-5 hours per week of their time, with social ventures for a 3-4 month project. Culminating the project, RippleWorks flies the experts to spend a week with their social venture for an immersive work session.

RippleWorks: Mike and Aldi

Mike and Aldi in Indonesia

“We get to bring the best-of-the-best people together to collaborate, which is always special,” Doug said. “We recently had an expert, Mike, go and visit Aldi, his project partner in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Mike felt pure joy because he maximized his volunteer time by providing priceless technology and architecture advice. His input will accelerate Aldi’s growth to help more shop keepers in rural Indonensia.”   Mike also visited Aldi’s home and connected with his son, teaching him how to sing the itsy-bitsy-spider.  Now, Aldi sings the song per his son’s nightly request.

“It wasn’t just about the project,” Doug said. “We get to see personal encounters like Mike and Aldi, the where two people bring the best out of each other, and really see what can happen when you connect two worlds together.”

Advice for current Berkeley-Haas students:

Doug reminds students to appreciate the true melting pot that is Berkeley.  “Haas exposed me to business people from around the world, and Berkeley exposed me to the most diverse group of people.” It offers an opportunity to experience the vast world outside of Silicon Valley.  Also, Doug advises to take advantage of everything Haas offers, particularly beyond curriculum.

  • Attend every event you can – you have the chance to attend more powerful events in your two years at Haas than you can for the rest of your life.
  • Make sure to take the time to understand your passions and values, and use that to discover what opportunities are out there and what goals you want to set for yourself.
  • Appreciate your classmates – you will learn as much from your experiences with them as you will from instructors, homework, or assignments.
  • And have fun along the way. Play intramural sports. Kick some butt at Challenge for Charity, and, if nothing else, beat Stanford.

 

 

HSIF: Providing Stable Futures Through Affordable Ownership – Angela Steele

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

Habitat for Humanity development in San Francisco, Habitat Terrace.

Habitat for Humanity development in San Francisco, Habitat Terrace.

“The best moment of my internship was doing a walk-through of Habitat Terrace, a development in San Francisco,” Angela Steele (MBA16) said. “Standing on the construction site, it became real that 28 families who otherwise may have been displaced and left struggling to make ends meet will now be able to stay in the city and own their own home.” This past summer, Angela worked with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco (GSF)’s Real Estate Development (RED) team, an opportunity she was able to pursue partly due to the Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF). Aside from building affordable single-family homes, Habitat for Humanity GSF also provides financial literacy courses to home buyers and rehabilitates distressed homes.

Having taken the Real Estate Speaker Series and participated in the Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge, Angela looked for a chance to examine the affordable ownership model within a small organization. “Maintaining a stock of affordable housing in order to preserve the diversity of cities is something I believe in and I wanted to explore this for my internship,” she explained. Continue reading

HSIF: Entrepreneurs Changing Communities – Dulce Kadise

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

Dulce Kadise and her team with Michael Baker, co-founder of MBAs Across America, in New Orleans, LA.

Dulce Kadise and her team with Michael Baker, co-founder of MBAs Across America, in New Orleans, LA.

Traveling from New Orleans to Alabama to Little Rock to Nashville, Dulce Kadise (MBA16) worked to understand and assist four entrepreneurs’ varying needs and goals through MBAs Across America. A popular organization with Haas MBAs, Dulce and classmate Dan Fishman (MBA16) were teamed with a Harvard MBA and a Stanford MBA to, as Dulce described, “embark on a 5-week journey across the country working with four entrepreneurs who are changing their communities.”

In New Orleans, the team worked with Your Nutrition Delivered, a business focused on food as medicine, delivering meals tailored customers with certain diseases or conditions, brainstorming expansion strategy, including geographies, channels, and products. Continue reading