Alumni Impact Partners

"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 business school alumni 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 4 nonprofits. For a list of the types of projects that an ND Impact Partners project team can take on, visit our project description page.

If you have questions, please email Tim Ponisciak at


Nonprofit Application Deadline (Deadline Extended): The application for nonprofit organizations to complete is currently open. Please complete the form by January 18, 2015. If you completed an application for last year's projects, please email Tim Ponisciak at to have it considered again for this year.

Alumni Application Deadline: The form for alumni to apply to be a part of one of ND Impact Partners projects will be available in January.

Requirements: Application must be submitted by an ND alumnus/na. 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 September 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. 

Previous Projects:

For a sampling of what types of projects were initiated in 2014, please review the list below. 

Catholic Charities Chicago - Corporate Sponsorship Planning:
Catholic Charities has a rich, 96 year history in the community and has received strong support from local corporations for our events and programs. However, there has never been a "true" corporate sponsorship program - where a corporation looks at the agency as a whole versus sponsoring an annual event or a program. The goal of this project would be for the team to take a look at our existing sponsorship opportunities and evaluate how these may be able to become a holistic corporate sponsorship program for the agency. Currently we have staff at every level and in every service area that approach local companies - either local store owners, foundations, marketing departments and more. We need to identify what existing partnerships we have and how we can sell them into the bigger concept of all that Catholic Charities provides.


Josephinum Academy - Developing Overall Strategy: 
The goal of the ND Consulting Project would be to bring a deeper level of intellectual, creative and analytical rigor to the Jo’s strategy and plan. Such rigor would enable a clarity of purpose, specified target student needs and criteria for selecting a high school, so that we can sharpen to a razor’s edge the principles, approach and operating model (our Program) that is required to consistently deliver on our promise of a “transformational” experience that accelerates academic competence and confidence, as well as life success skills. This would integrate into a single view the Jo’s philosophy of personal transformation, including leading academic approaches, as well as emotional and social competence. The particular complexities to be addressed in the strategy would be the clear, compelling identification of distinct and unique needs for our target students, the careful articulation of our source of differentiation that instantly compels our target students to desire to attend the Jo, the detailed elements of the Program that clearly demonstrate the capacity to compellingly address these specific needs. From this should come a more confident view of our operating budgets, funding model, marketing communication principles, and accelerated enrollment and fund raising.




Horizons for Youth - Marketing the 25th Anniversary:
Horizons for Youth will celebrate their 25th Anniversary in 2015. Founded in 1990 by three Notre Dame alumni, Mike Murdock, Kathy Murdock, and Patrick Collins, Horizons for Youth has been providing access to a quality education, a strong adult support system, and exposure to the broader community to students for almost 25 years. In anticipation of the anniversary, we would ask the ND Project Team to develop a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign celebrating this milestone for the organization. This “25th Anniversary Campaign” project entails developing the campaign theme, strategy, communications, components, and implementation plan. Horizons for Youth will utilize the completed project plan during calendar year 2015. Horizons for Youth will also celebrate the program’s growth to 250 students in 2015. The “25th Anniversary Campaign” is a significant opportunity to capitalize on historic and current successes to push toward the next growth goal of serving 500 students. The goal of the campaign will be to raise significant funding to expand program size. The impact of this project will allow more students in the Chicago area to benefit from the proven programs of Horizons for Youth. While the Horizons for Youth staff will maintain annual fundraising operations, they will require outside expertise to effectively execute the “25th Anniversary Campaign,” which will ultimately benefit more students from low-resource areas of Chicago.


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