Bryan Williams's blog

Networking and Trends: 10 Impact Investing Events to Attend in 2015

GreenBiz Forum

Feb. 17-19, 2015 | Phoenix, AZ | Details

The pitch: "We leverage our vast networks, insights, and domain expertise to bring you the brightest thinkers and most influential leaders. You'll get an unparalleled in-depth look at the key challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business today."

Conscious Capitalism

April 7-9, 2015 | Chicago, IL | Details

The pitch: "Designed for CEOs and their leadership teams, executives and entrepreneurs, the consultants and coaches who serve and support them, and anyone else interested in learning more about Conscious Capitalism."

Impact Capitalism Summit

April 21-22, 2015 | Chicago, IL | Details

The pitch: "A unique networking event bringing together institutional investors who are leading the mainstreaming of impact investing across asset classes. Bringing together investors, fund managers, and intermediaries, the Summit will challenge and inform the way we define opportunities, think about return, and invest in the future."

US SIF: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

May 4-6, 2015 | Chicago, IL | Details

The pitch: "Offers a unique opportunity to network with leaders of sustainable, responsible, and impact investing, to hear from leading investors, CEOs and policymakers, and to learn about new approaches, trends, and policy developments in the field."

Ceres Conference 2015

May 13-14, 2015 | San Francisco, CA | Details

The pitch: "Companies and investors across all industries must rise to the challenge in this rapidly changing landscape and come together in unprecedented ways. They must be bold and innovative, and they must lead... Connect with fellow leaders creating the innovative solutions that will build a more sustainable global economy."

Sustainatopia

May 27-30, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA | Details

The pitch: "Sustainatopia is one of the world's leading events in celebration of social, financial, and environmental sustainability."

Impact Investing Conference

July 12, 2015 | Denver, CO | Details

The pitch: "From portfolio analysis to powerful stories of social change, Impact Investing is an event that will challenge you to think, collaborate, and better plan a future for your business – and us all."

SOCAP15

Oct. 6-9, 2015 | New York, NY | Details

The pitch: "Our unique approach emphasizes cross-sector convening and gathers voices across a broad spectrum to catalyze unexpected connections. From the leading edge to established players, SOCAP brings together global innovators, investors, foundations, governments, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build the world we want to leave to future generations."

SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing

Nov. 3-5, 2015 | Colorado Springs, CO | Details

The pitch: "The premier annual gathering of investors and investment professionals working to make money and direct the flow of investment capital toward a truly sustainable future."

Net Impact Conference

Nov. 5-7, 2015 | Seattle, WA | Details

The pitch: "In addition to the 10 conference tracks, 100 sessions, and 300 speakers, each Net Impact Conference offers a whole host of special events, including networking opportunities, boot camps, off-site business tours, and impact workshops."

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Liberal Arts Majors: A Career in Impact Investing Is an Option

As part of an ongoing webinar series exploring employment trends and best practices, Dr. Mrim Boutla of More Than Money Careers hosted a session on impact investing specifically. The audience was university faculty and staff, but the insights and advice were helpful for anyone considering pursuing a career in impact investing -- especially those with a liberal arts background who might not be aware of how their education and skills can translate.

Watch the webinar at More Than Money Careers »

"No matter the major, there will be career opportunities"

Dr. Boutla takes a few minutes to define impact investing -- "investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial return" -- before identifying two buckets of coursework and work experience that are consistent with what employers need in the field: 

  • Business/law education
  • Liberal arts/design education, including:
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Design/multimedia
    • STEM
    • Foreign languages

It's the latter group, she says, that may not be an obvious connection to impact investing for students coming out of those majors, and she details a few of the disciplines where they're applicable:

  • Evaluation and monitoring
  • Dealing with complexity
  • Design thinking
  • Languages
  • High emotional intelligence (EQ)

Employers and focus areas

Digging into how to align a career path in impact investing not only with education but also with passion, Dr. Boutla first divides by instrument:

  • Financial investments (microfinance, crowdfunding, growth capital)
  • Leadership investments (social incubators, service programs, advisory services)

Then she further identifies three major "classes" of impact investing causes, citing JP Morgan and Global Impact Investing Network. These are where growth is really taking off within the industry, and they run the gamut of social and environmental programs:

  • Assets for the poor (employment, access to services like education and energy)
  • Basic welfare for people in need (access to water, food security, healthcare)
  • Mitigate climate change (conservation, energy efficiency, pollution prevention, sustainability)

Says Dr. Boutla, "No matter what major students have in liberal arts -- energy, women's studies, conservation and environmental management -- they will have opportunities to influence and get hired by those impact investment funds aligned with their area of focus."

Bottom line advice: Get specific

A lot of students only know that they want to work in impact investing generally, rather than really diving in and exploring a highly specialized area of expertise. Dr. Boutla cautions that this is a mistake:

"It would be like speaking Latin because you know that Latin is at the core of French and Italian. You still need to learn French or Italian! ... At some point you have to go from the general to the specialized -- because it's a specializing field. And the more specialized and tailored you can be when you talk to each employer, the easier it will be to compete."

Watch the webinar at More Than Money Careers »

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How to Make a Career Switch From Finance to Impact Investing

At GreenBiz, Walk of Life Consulting's Shannon Houde advises a disillusioned fund manager who has "fallen out of love with making money" to think about a natural shift to impact investing:

Those looking to forge a career in this new and exciting area require financial know-how and savvy business intuition to crunch the hard numbers on the viability of an organization, fund or company, and ensure a financial return like any traditional investment. But impact investors also need a compassionate heart to generate the measurable, beneficial returns on social and environmental impact.

Houde goes on to detail her top four tips for making a move out of traditional finance to focus specifically on impact investing. In addition to research and networking -- staples of any successful job search -- she emphasizes the importance of carving out a niche in the industry that is aligned with your passions:

Are your passions in the developing world or closer to home? In environmental issues such as water, biodiversity and energy or more on the social side of the fence in health, gender or education? Get specific if you want to make maximum impact. Casting your net too wide works against you, especially when making a career change. The hiring manager you may network or speak with will want to know what your specific target is, and what the audience that you are selling your unique skillset to is.

More philosophically, Houde notes that this complement of work and purpose is vital. "Pursuing your passions is not frivolous," she writes. "In fact, it's the only way to ensure a sustainable career — one that satisfies you on every level, and one that you can imagine doing for a long, long time."

Read: Dear Shannon: How can I make a career switch to impact investing?

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5 Steps to Starting a Job Search in Impact Investing

Impact investing is still a new addition to the financial services industry landscape, but there are no special tricks when it comes to landing a job in this booming sector. All the traditional approaches to any job search still hold true, and there is also real opportunity to shape new roles and positions as extensions of unique skill sets.

Match your skills

Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs has a primer on the impact investing sector that breaks down a variety of career paths based on the "entire cycle of an investment" and notes that, for job seekers, specific expertise in finance is only part of the story:

There are areas within impact investing such as impact assessment and portfolio management that may not need a prior investment banking or corporate finance background.

Some of the skills that employers look for are:

  • Strong analytical and problem skills
  • Financial skills
  • Partnership and relationship building skills
  • Experience in international development work
  • Impact evaluation/assessment experience
  • Sector knowledge (healthcare, education, microfinance, etc.)
  • Language skills

Read: Career Opportunities in Impact Investing [PDF]

Understand your options

At socialearth.org, Thien Nguyen-Trung has written an extensive series detailing his six-item "impact investing career checklist" and delves deeply into characterizing the types of roles available to job seekers at both investment and consulting groups, noting the desired level and breadth of expertise for each:

While VC/PE-like impact investment funds and national development finance institutions in general will expect their portfolio managers to be more fluent with equity or debt deal structuring and execution, foundations still do heavily rely mostly on grants, which requires a different skillset. Thus, people with grantwriting or with experience evaluating grants in previous nonprofit jobs tend to gravitate towards these positions as well.

However, perhaps more so with foundations, the background of program officers can vary more widely than investment managers and analysts, who usually have corporate or advisory firm profiles.

Read: How to Get a Job in Impact Investing

Study your subject matter

Emma Vaughn at Fast Company underscores the importance not just of having a high-level understanding of impact investing generally, but also a deep familiarity with your area of interest and the variety of strategies employed by related funds:

In a rapidly growing but still relatively young industry, you’ll find different funds with similar philosophies pursuing different goals with varying strategies. While linked by a common thesis, they all have varying sector and geographical focuses and even slightly different priorities. ... From healthcare investments to financial inclusion to domestic issues or international development, there are now a range of approaches and sub-sectors to target based on your specific experience and interest.

Read: 7 Tips to Landing a Job in Impact Investing

Build your networks

The Wesleyan University blog, ENGAGE, offers a rundown of organizations of interest to job seekers looking to broaden their exposure to the industry, including networks (Global Impact Investing Network, Toniic), financial services companies (Impact Assets, Good Capital), and funding platforms (Kiva).

Read: Interested in a Career in Impact Investing? A Sample of Networks and Organizations to Explore

Lorainne Lopez at Inspiring Capital additionally recommends impact investing-related Meetups and lists several worthwhile conferences such as SOCAP, Social Good Summit, and Social Enterprise Conference.

Read: The Dream Job: Tips on Starting A Career in Impact Investing (No M.B.A. Degree Required)

Think big

Finally, Sasha Dichter, the Chief Innovation Officer at Acumen Fund in addition to being a popular blogger and speaker, strongly advises taking the long view. It’s still too early in the evolution of the impact investing sector overall, he says, for job seekers to pigeonhole themselves into the known and traditional finance industry roles. Right now presents the opportunity to define new roles in a nascent industry:

For something so new, with so many talented people excited and looking to make an impact, the orientation cannot be around how to get picked for the tiny number of jobs that exist for the massive number of amazingly qualified applicants.  Instead, the opportunity is to create a job, a role, a set of experiences that will allow you, over time, to help us all shape and move and define this new space.

More shapers and visionaries and big thinkers, please.  We are still just at the beginning.

Read: How do I get a job in impact investing?

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Impact Investing 101

Investing for good - as well as profit

Marked the “Year of Impact Investing,” 2013 saw a total of $36 billion committed in capital for impact investing. By 2020, it’s estimated that figure will increase to $1 trillion. Hailed as the “future of capitalism,” impact investing leverages the speed of capital markets and the private sector in concert with the public sector and communities’ goals. The World Economic Forum has defined impact investing as an intentional strategy to create financial and social returns that are actively measured.

The growth of impact investing stems from investors wanting to not only create profit and financial returns but also to do good in the world. "As we've seen through the economic and financial crisis, money without values can maybe not create the world that we want," says Wayne Silby from Calvert Social Funds.

Challenges of impact investing

Some argue that the sector has been slow to scale since the term was coined in 2007 because of the plethora of definitions – there is a huge range of what people consider "impact." Sixty-six percent of financial advisors claimed to not understand impact investing, according to a 2013 CFA Institute survey. Certain skepticism also exists because it’s still less clear for investors how this type of investing can be integrated into portfolios.

The biggest obstacle the sector has run into is that it is difficult to predict what an investor’s return will be over time. This is the same as calculating the intrinsic value in the value-investing approach that mainstream investing has used for over 100 years, but impact investing does not have the rigorous prediction model that mainstream investing uses.

Regardless, impact investing has attracted significant public and media attention, and the investors in the space are the pioneers who are building impact investing capabilities and testing what works. As they have success, the next wave of impact investors will enter the market.

Does impact investing yield lower returns?

Impact investing does not always require an investor to sacrifice financial returns for society’s benefit. “Impact investors have the ability to execute a variety of strategies that conform to their existing allocation needs but also produce impact,” said Pradeep Ramamurthy from The Abraaj Group. For reference, see the chart from the World Economic Forum showing the average rate of returns (IRR) of impact invest funds. 

Sonen Capital published a report highlighting the results of the seven-year impact investment portfolio it designed for the KL Felicitas Foundation. The results suggest that socially responsible investing and enviro-social factors can:

  1. Capture enhanced return by exploiting market inefficiencies
  2. Allow thematic investments to capitalize on long-term social or environmental trends
  3. Allow “impact first” investments to reduce overall portfolio volatility by giving a significant allocation to less-correlated investments.

More studies like these are necessary to demonstrate the business case for impact investing and the strategies to maximize returns for investors.

The future of impact investing

Millennials are almost twice as likely as their grandparents to regard their investments as a way to express social, political, or environmental values, and nearly three-quarters of millennials believe that it is possible to realize market-rate returns investing in companies based on their social or environmental impact.

In an interview, Michael Drexler from the World Economic Forum said, “We believe the interest of [millennials] will influence the actions of institutional investors, and impact investing will be part of that portfolio.”

That might be the case because over the next four decades, the baby boomer generation is going to transfer $41 trillion of assets to the millennial generation. Investors are going to have to think a lot more about businesses that do create a positive societal, environmental, and economic impact.

What we’ve seen and can predict is that global pressures on the environment and millennials’ interest to better align capital markets with social consciousness will expand the impact investing sector significantly in the next decade.

You can learn more about impact investing from any of these sources:

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Three Lessons Learned From Startups

The nonprofit sector has definitely come under examination in the last few years. From the increased focus on talent development, to the TED manifesto on warped charity perceptions, to the catchy Tumblr that brought to life nonprofit workers’ deepest frustrations: The social sector is finally in the limelight. Some would say part of this change is attributed to the Lean Impact movement.

Several Net Impact staff recently attended and judged the Lean for Social Good Summit, where we heard a number of case studies about Lean principles in action. These principles are based off values from the startup world where iteration and piloting triumph over toiling away at one product or idea for years on end.

To bring these ideas to life, we heard from a number of folks putting these principles into practice every day. A few lessons of note:

1. Perfectionism can be death.

One of the basic principles of the Lean Impact movement is the MVP – or, minimum viable product. It’s a direct response to the idea that organizations spend too much time dragging their feet finalizing a service or product without ever getting client feedback. Creating a minimal viable product lets you see if an idea is in demand before you waste months on the wrong product.

Successful nonprofits often take this approach. Code for America, an organization that harnesses the Internet and technology to help governments work better, partnered with the city of South Bend, Oregon, to tackle the demolition and rehabilitation of foreclosed housing stock. Understanding that community identities were at stake, the Code for America team moved swiftly, speaking one-on-one with citizens before launching a text app that enabled residents to give immediate feedback on whether certain properties should be saved. Through subsequent conversations, the team realized that many older residents couldn’t embrace the texting technology. Instead, they pivoted and launched a model utilizing an old fashioned telephone with much better results. Code for America’s overall success was tied to their willingness to try, listen, pivot, and re-launch something quickly.

Chasing perfectionism can be paralyzing for nonprofits that are battling social and environmental issues. Establish your MVPs and then get iterative feedback as you go.

2. Data is a double-edged sword.

Speakers had a lot to say about data in the social sector – particularly the overreliance on vanity metrics. You know the ones: numbers of members served, events held, or Facebook likes instead of actionable metrics that demonstrate the effectiveness of your mission. Part of this problem, speakers admitted, has been the nonprofit perspective that they are beholden to funders to show large numbers. And yet some of the funders in attendance, such as Anne Marie Burgoyne of the Emerson Collective, explained that the expectations between foundation and fundee can be more fluid than originally thought. With proper communication and honesty, goals can often be flexible.

On a related note, Lean organizations understand that less data-driven objectives can also be very important. A great example? Black Girls Code, whose founder Kimberly Bryant won top prize from the judges, describes its goals in two parts – one, to serve one million girls of color, and two, to become the “Girl Scouts of technology.” In many ways, the second part is stronger and more evocative of what the organization is striving to achieve.

3. You need to talk to your people.

At Net Impact, we’re lucky to have a pulse on our members through our incrediblechapter network and annual conference, but we can always do more. Summit speakers reiterated that talking to constituents regularly is important, an idea reflected in one of the core Lean Impact framework steps: “Get out of the building.” This was especially important for Grameen Foundation’s Taroworks, a mobile data collection tool that stores and analyzes data for organizations with poor connectivity in remote regions. According to Grameen’s Emily Tucker, who won the audience choice award, “We always have to get out of the building, and then get out of the building again.” While Grameen Foundation works with employees in offices around the world, to do great work they must also listen to people in the local communities who are served by the international offices.

Hearing these speakers, it was clear that a tremendous amount of inspiring work in the social sector today is driven by lean principles. As Net Impact sets out to be bolder in the years to come, we’ll happily keep this framework in our back pocket.

Small Steps Result in Big Impact

Why is it that when I do a Google search for Millennials are... the auto-fill responses end with lazy, selfish, and unhappy? I'm a Millennial, and I wouldn't use those words to describe myself or my friends. However, there clearly is a widely held misconception that Millennials are the me, me, me generation.

Millennials aren't lazy. They're hard workers; they care about global issues, and they want to find careers that make them happy. But don't just take my word for it. There are students all over the world who are making a positive social and environmental impact in their communities.

One way is through the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge, an international competition where undergraduate students compete against other schools and each other to see who can take the most social and environmental actions. With the completion of the Fall Challenge, students have provided plenty of reasons to question the validity of Millennial stereotypes.

In just three months, thousands of students on over 60 campuses collectively took over 50,000 actions. Small Steppers took actions as simple as recycling an aluminum can and as large as organizing a fundraising event for a charity. They showed their peers simple ways to live a more sustainable and socially responsible lifestyle.

For the fall semester, Net Impact partnered with myActions, the social network for the planet. Each time participants took an action, they shared it from their phone, mobile app, or computer. They uploaded photos to share with other participants in a newsfeed where they could also comment, thank, and like each other's actions.Some fun Fall Challenge stats:

  • Over $12,000 raised for charities such as the American Red Cross, Environmental Defense Fund, and World Wildlife Fund
  • About 240,000 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions reduced from going into the atmosphere
  • More than 2,000 hours devoted to volunteering in local communities

It's inspiring to see students leading the way to create a positive social and environmental impact. I hope that the actions students took will develop into life-long habits and lead to an interest in impact-related careers. In a few short years, students will graduate from college and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Whatever misconceptions exist about Millennials, one fact remains certain: we are the next generation of leaders and our actions will have big impacts on our communities.

The Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge kicks off for the spring on February 10, so sign up now to explore the new platform and mobile app so you can hit the ground running at launch time!

Thanks to the sponsors who supported the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge: Alcoa Foundation, Newman's Own Foundation, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Avon, the Coca-Cola Company, Chevrolet, and Join My Village.

Debt Matters

This past year the issues of spending and national debt have been on the front pages of newspapers as politicians disagreed over budget proposals and gridlock led to a government shutdown. As Democrats and Republicans, economists and political scientists discuss the merits of their policy decisions, one group was largely left out of all discussion: young people. In 1936, Herbert Hoover famously said, Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt, and that statement rings true today. With $17 trillion in debt and no consensus on how to reduce the debt over the long-term, the US economy seems to be on a path for continued debt accumulation and it is the younger generation that will be left to foot the bill. However, there is hope.T

oday, with the second annual launch of the Up to Us Campus Competition, students are taking their economic future into their own hands. Student teams from 24 colleges and universities are launching creative and thought-provoking campus campaigns focused on fiscal issues. The campaigns will run for five weeks and are designed to educate and engage their peers on the potential effects of the nation's rising debt and to motivate action in Washington on fiscal issues.Each Up to Us campaign is unique; tailored to fit with campus culture, and takes an innovative approach to make talking about the debt interesting. March Madness-themed competition about debt? Check! Theater production? Check! Lemonade stand to pay off the debt? Check!

Teams have been preparing for months leading up to the launch of the Up To Us Campus Competition. Through weekly webinars and intensive in-person training at the annual Net Impact Conference, teams have had the opportunity to work with competition organizers, marketing professionals, and past Up to Us participants to develop leadership, marketing, and strategy skills. The Net Impact Conference provided students with the extra benefits of meeting team lead counterparts from across the country and hearing from last year's winning team leader Lena Shi from the University of Virginia. In addition to developing skills that will serve them over a lifetime, all the teams are competing for a $10,000 cash prize and recognition by President Clinton at Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in Phoenix this March!

So how much DO you know about the debt? Take our nifty Facebook Quiz and find out, then stay connected by joining the discussion on the Up to Us Facebook page! Up to Us is a nonpartisan partnership between Net Impact, CGI U, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, all of whom share a commitment to improving our nation's long-term sustainability. Net Impact believes that today's emerging leaders have a key role to play in ensuring a financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable future for all generations.

Being Fearless in the New Year

Trying to change the world can be exciting and gratifying. It can also be lonely and scary. That's why so many social sector organizations - including our own - have loved to see examples like the Case Foundation's Be Fearless campaign.The Be Fearless campaign recognizes that true, transformational change is hard and takes courage. To make significant impact, you need to ask unpopular questions, upend conventional norms, and form difficult collaborations. There's a reason that the world's most powerful changemakers - people like Martin Luther King, Gloria Steinem, Nelson Mandela - had as many enemies and detractors as friends at the height of their revolutions.

Net Impact is trying to drive major change in the world. We envision a world where people go to work to make impact first and money second. We aspire to embolden hundreds of thousands of people to achieve careers with meaning and purpose, throughout the sectors, resulting in a sea-change of social and environmental impacts throughout the world. Ten percent of the United States population in the social sector isn't enough. Volunteering with your company for a day a year isn't enough. In order to solve the immense problems facing our planet and society today, we need everyone's best ideas, time, and passion.

We need to be fearless.

My colleague Linda Gerard, who heads up Brand and Innovation at Net Impact, introduced our staff of 40 to the Be Fearless concept through the Case Foundation's inspirational video a few months ago. The concept highlights five core values of this courageous ethos:

  1. Make Big Bets and Make History. Set audacious, not incremental, goals.
  2. Experiment Early and Often. Don't be afraid to go first.
  3. Make Failure Matter. Failure teaches. Learn from it.
  4. Reach Beyond Your Bubble. It's comfortable to go it alone. But innovation happens at intersections.
  5. Let Urgency Conquer Fear. Don't overthink and overanalyze. Do.

More recently, our staff shared some of the specific ways they had brought one of these five values to life. Here are just three examples from the past year of how Net Impact has tried to embody these goals:

  • Make Big Bets. Our current 10-year strategy has a very ambitious goal: to grow our network of 50,000 exponentially to 1 million people over the next decade. We have a vision of what we want the future to look like, and many more hands need to pitch in to get there. (And if you're not a member already, sign up if you want to change the world through work!)
  • Make Failure Matter. After setting out with good intentions, we invested a lot of time and money with various digital consultants in the last year and a half. And many of the results were poor: clunky platforms, poor usability, tech vendors that went out of business. That kind of organizational failure hurts, in terms of money, opportunity cost, and impact. In place of that, we've decided to change course and build our in-house expertise with a small but mighty web team. Our current web re-launch process is night and day smoother than the last few rounds.
  • Reach Beyond Your Bubble. We've entered into a number of significant partnerships this year - and I don't mean partnerships where you talk once a year and slap your logos on each other's website. Instead of these low-engagement relations, we're now co-running campus events with a major multinational (Unilever) and leading our major undergrad program with a new technology partner (MyActions). Both these partnerships have taken way more time that our team predicted, but resulted in far stronger impact than we could have achieved alone.

As the Net Impact community faces 2014, I want to challenge you to set your own Fearless Goals (or whatever you'd like to call them). What are your big bets, how can you celebrate failure, and what new partnerships can you explore? And make sure to stay in touch, share your story, and let us know how Net Impact can help.

Resolutions That Don't Require the Gym

Looking for a more meaningful resolution for 2014? Challenge yourself to do away with cliche New Year's resolutions and think about what you really want to accomplish this year. Whether you want to work smarter, take on a new project, or make your work more meaningful, Net Impact has resolutions you'll actually be able to keep in 2014, no matter where you are in life (and don't worry, no gym membership required).

If you're looking to build your resume...

Get Real-world Experience
Shine in the crowded impact job marketplace with Projects for Good, our online platform that connects students who have the will - and skills - to make an impact with organizations who need them. Past projects have included designing a market analysis and expansion strategy for Kiva Zip, developing a CRM strategy for an NGO in India, and creating a marketing strategy for WRI's sustainability SWOT. Sign up now and be the first to know when new projects are posted.

Intern in the Great Outdoors
Apply for the National Parks Business Plan Internship (BPI). You'll spend 11 weeks living in a National Park developing financial and operational solutions that impact the long term health of these precious natural resources. BPI interns have worked across the country in Yellowstone National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and more. Applications for this competitive internship are due this Sunday, January 12.

Try out Sustainability Consulting
Want to test drive your sustainability consulting chops? Create your own engagement with one of our projects in a box. These toolkits provide you with the resources to assess whether an organization is socially and environmentally sustainable and what steps they can take to improve. Projects in a box include a green energy audit for small businesses, B Lab's B Impact Assessment, a SWOT analysis and more. If you're interested, email Laura Diez at ldiez@netimpact.org.

Flex Your Marketing Skills
The Banana Republic Grad Student Challenge wants your help increasing awareness of the This Way Ahead program, which provides job training and leadership development to underserved youth. The winning team will fly to San Francisco to present their idea to Banana Republic execs, meet the young people involved with This Way Ahead, and win a Banana Republic wardrobe. The Intent to Compete is due January. 31.

Create New Habits and Change the World
This spring, join thousands of other undergrad students who are taking, and tracking, small environmental and social actions (like riding their bike to class and pledging not to text and drive) as part of the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge. While the official challenge kicks off in February, sign up now to test out the new online platform and mobile app so you're ready to hit the ground running at launch time.

If you're about to launch your impact job search...

Find Your Passion
Considering a career change or looking for more meaning in your work? Start by clarifying the impact you want to make on the world by completing our Passions Mosaic exercise. In just 10 minutes, you'll have a better understanding of how to address the issues you care most about through your next job.

Discover Your Dream Job
Find a job that will let you make your mark on the world. Net Impact's Job Board is full of open positions from employers who share your commitment to making a social or environmental impact, like Nike, Teach for America, and more.

Ask the Right Questions
Looking for ways to make an impact beyond a CSR role? Many mainstream businesses offer opportunities to participate on green teams and plan community service events. Our Corporate Interview Toolkit provides tips, questions, and resources to evaluate corporate employers' sustainability practices to determine which companies best align with your values and provide opportunities to make an impact.

If you're happily employed...

Make an Impact at Your Current Job
Commit to implementing impact initiatives in your workplace. For inspiration, read Corporate Careers That Make a Difference, our guide to creating a career in sustainability with success stories from nearly two dozen professionals. Put that inspiration to practice by downloading the Impact at Work Toolkit to start your own social or environmental movement.

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