"Ask More of Business" is more than a tagline for Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. These words are a guiding force for many students, faculty and staff of the College. Professors ask their students to look beyond balance sheets and marketing plans to find ways that business can further society. The Office of Graduate Alumni Relations is excited to get started on the second year of ND Impact Partners. The Notre Dame Impact Partners Initiative will provide an opportunity for ND alumni working in business to share their business acumen and experience to benefit a local, Chicago area, nonprofit organization. This initiative will form teams of ND alumni volunteers who will tackle a strategic project for a nonprofit organization over a 4 to 6 month span. This will be a tremendous opportunity for alumni to have a transformative volunteer experience leveraging their business skills to make an impact on a nonprofit organization that may be looking to reach new markets, start a new fundraising campaign, merge with a similar nonprofit or create more impactful experiences for its volunteers.

In 2015, the Impact Partners initiative will partner with 3 nonprofits on four projects. 

If you have questions, please email Tim Ponisciak at tponisci@nd.edu.


Nonprofit Application Deadline: The application for nonprofit organizations has closed. Thank you for your interest.

Alumni Application Deadline: The deadline for alumni applications is end of day February 28. We are currently reviewing alumni applications for this year.

Requirements: Application must be submitted by an ND alumnus/na who lives in the great Chicagoland area. Application must be completed in full to be considered. 5 to 6 alumni will be placed on each of four teams. The Graduate Alumni Relations Office for the College of Business will review the applications and will notify applicants if they will be placed on a project team shortly thereafter. Applicants not selected will be considered for the next round of projects.

Time Frame: Projects would last from April 2015 through October 2015.

Qualifications: Alumni should be willing to commit 6-8 hours a month, over the course of six months, to assist on a project. Volunteer activities will include: meeting face-to-face with the nonprofit contacts, meeting in person or via conference call with the other members of your project team, performing delegated activities individually, interviewing stakeholders for the nonprofit, creating a recommendation document for the nonprofit, and presenting recommendations to the nonprofit at the conclusion of the project. This is a project based initiative, and there is no requirement that the alum continue on as a volunteer at the completion of the project. However, if the alum and the nonprofit both would like the alum or team to continue serving in a volunteer capacity, then that is certainly a possibility.

Skills and Experience: This initiative is open to alumni with a variety of business skills and experience. We are not necessarily looking for only alumni with a vast amount of nonprofit or professional work experience, but look at this as an opportunity for experienced alumni to share their knowledge, and newer alumni to broaden their skillset. 

2015 Projects:

Listed below are the projects for 2015:

Catholic Charities Chicago - Volunteer Process Improvement for the Celebration of Giving:
For 67 years Catholic Charities has managed one of the region’s largest Christmas gift giving programs, the Celebration of Giving. In 2014, more than 20,000 gifts were collected for children and adults who otherwise wouldn't have gifts on Christmas. The program is run out of our Lake County Office and Downtown Chicago offices. The sites are run separately and have always maintained separate logistics and external program messaging. We are looking to create cohesive external messaging around the program and analyze the program logistics and how to better utilize volunteers. Hundreds of donors and thousands of gifts are collected and distributed in a short amount of time. Publicity for the program generally begins in mid-summer, with collections starting in early fall and running through Christmas. This project would help us analyze existing messaging and logistics and provide recommendations on how the program can grow, including analyzing how corporate partners and parishes can become more involved in the program and we can better utilize volunteers, who are much-needed to make this huge undertaking a success. 


Catholic Charities Chicago - Social Enterprise Strategy:
Catholic Charities manages several social enterprise programs. These programs employ Catholic Charities clients in a variety of industries to help provide job training and experience to the clients and/or they serve as revenue-generators for the agency to support its programs. Catholic Charities would like help in developing an overall marketing plan and business strategy for one of these social enterprise programs. The social enterprise program we would like reviewed is: - Crisp!: Crisp! a food delivery service that concentrates on providing fresh, healthy food options to Chicago neighborhoods that lack a grocery store or are considered to be in a food desert. Orders are taken online or by the phone and LINK/Food Stamps are accepted. In addition to an overall plan, we welcome ideas on how to leverage each individual social enterprise program to attract new customers and recognition of the programs. 


National Association for Down Syndrome - New Market Opportunity Research:
The focus would be to expand the organization outreach in the Down syndrome community.  One of our 5 year planning goals is to increase the number of people that we serve.  Areas of focus for this objective would include:  researching what communities the National Association for Down syndrome is currently not providing services to in the Chicagoland area, further our outreach to new families especially in the Hispanic and African-American communities, and develop new ways to connect with individuals with Down syndrome and their families.  The outcome of this objective would increase the base of individuals/families that we support, and expand the footprint of the National Association for Down Syndrome into new communities.  


Misericordia - Foresight for Special Needs Care:
Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged.  By serving society’s most vulnerable citizens, Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for them, yet cannot provide it at home.The Alumni team would work to identify global trends that will affect continuing care for individuals with developmental disabilities, and provide recommendations related to leveraging future opportunities and solving future challenges related to these trends.