Both nonprofits and alumni were hit with evolving new constraints and challenges as the pandemic unfolded, so we checked-in with each party every few weeks during the season to modify the landing instructions. Ultimately, of the nine nonprofit clients and 52 alumni that were engaged during the spring, four projects have been completed, two have pivoted, one is postponed, and two have closed. We are pleased to have been able to adapt outcomes to unique circumstances.
Beyond managing these customized projects, Community Partners quickly initiated “Individual Service Opportunities,” enabling individual alumni to immediately volunteer to support a nonprofit or local government with an urgent COVID-19 related challenge. While in the early days of the pandemic business leaders were not quite in demand as much as healthcare workers, we are proud that we were able to support five nonprofits who needed immediate strategic management assistance with seven alumni eager to use their skills.
Given the switch to operating entirely virtually, we also bolstered our online and social media presence. Our LinkedIn group is now 240 alumni members strong (click here to join if you have not done so already or contact me). We initiated a blog on our website—a place where alumni can share reflections and stories inspired by the social needs of our time. Introducing this blog during this time period feels apropos, as this is a time when all of us are taking the forced pause to reflect on our society, appreciate what we have taken for granted, and question how we operate. We want to give HBS alumni the opportunity to share new perspectives, ideas, and paradigm shifts – all with the community interests in mind. If you would like to share any observations or takeaways, contact me to be featured in our next blog!