Celebrating Our 2014 Chapters of the Year

By: Megan Kim | August 14, 2014

Our chapters make Net Impact’s mission a reality by empowering their members to pursue and create social and environmental change. Each year, we highlight three chapters that go above and beyond through their events, partnerships, and other accomplishments. We're proud to announce the 2014 Chapter of the Year winners: 

Undergraduate winner: Net Impact Yale University
Graduate winner: Net Impact University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
Professional winner: Net Impact Boston

See what makes their impact stand out.

Undergraduate: Yale       

Net Impact Yale provides an outlet for student interests in social enterprise and social impact careers, filling a niche that was previously absent on campus.

Consulting hackathon creates dual benefit
Net Impact Yale's consulting team partnered with four local social enterprises throughout the year to provide business-oriented analysis and socially conscious recommendations, bringing social enterprise consulting experience to Yale undergraduates. At the end of the school year, the chapter hosted a CreateAthon, a one-day consulting “hackathon” with past consulting clients and students interested in applying their business savvy to a social mission. The CreateAthon event made an impact on local businesses while helping students hone skills in consulting, client interaction, and creative thinking under pressure.

Students make an impact beyond the Yale campus
Net Impact Yale had a number of breakthrough achievements this past year that connected their members with social impact opportunities beyond campus. The chapter became a Kiva trustee for Kiva Zip and endorsed its first local business -- an aquaponic farm that was in need of a start-up loan. Net Impact Yale’s consulting team took on a number of new clients in industries like sustainable sportswear and socially conscious tourism. The consulting projects provided a framework for their members to engage with local social business while gaining consulting experience. To encourage social impact careers post-graduation, Net Impact Yale hosted the only social sector career fair on campus in a student-led collaboration with Yale’s undergraduate career services. The event welcomed local and international organizations to connect with over 100 students in attendance.

Graduate: UT Austin McCombs   

Net Impact McCombs is a community of incredibly diverse backgrounds – from advertising to public education to the food industry – all united by their belief in social and sustainable impact.

A new approach to foster passion and success
Net Impact McCombs built its distinct culture and high member engagement through a strategic effort to create informal social gatherings for their members. Within the first few weeks of the 2013-2014 school year, the chapter organized several casual events at bars, breweries, coffee shops, and restaurants. The chapter’s group identity took form during these events through conversations between members about their career passions, interests, and frustrations in class. The sense of organizational culture and strength of relationships among members facilitated the chapter’s ability to organize successful events. Net Impact McCombs also provided a variety of perspectives on what sustainability and social impact work can look like for MBAs. The chapter's focus on career development has provided a large support system for members and drawn attention from their school administration.

Business for Good Summit quadruples attendance
This year, Net Impact McCombs rebranded its Business for Good Summit to reflect the increasing diversity of member interests. The one-day summit focused on how business executives and entrepreneurs are changing their models and proving false the choice between making money and making a difference. Speakers attended from a spectrum of organizations, including charter schools, Whole Planet Foundation, Goldman Sachs, and a sustainable coffee shop in Austin. The event's success was a culmination of the chapter’s hard work in community outreach, networking, and focus on membership and cultural growth, resulting in four times the attendance of the previous year's summit.

Professional: Boston  

Net Impact Boston, spearheaded by a strong leadership team, has more than 900 active professional members that benefit from the chapter’s many opportunities and events.

New membership engagement event pays off
In an experimental effort to increase member engagement, Net Impact Boston organized a new event – the Net Impact Boston Annual Meeting – for members to provide feedback about their expectations and  concerns, and offer suggestions for the upcoming year. The event kicked off with a keynote speaker and included breakout sessions on topics like membership, events, partnerships, and marketing. Over 40 new and existing members were in attendance, and their insights left the leadership team with a more complete understanding of member interests and expectations from chapter participation. Many of the great ideas generated from the event were subsequently incorporated into Net Impact Boston’s annual plan for the coming year.

Collaboration on all fronts strengthens the Net Impact community in Boston
Net Impact Boston collaborated with nine of the local Net Impact graduate chapters to host the 2nd Annual Net Impact Boston Career Summit. The event brought together over 130 graduate students, job seekers, and professionals interested in careers with positive social or environmental impact. Through networking opportunities, panel sessions, and a career expo, attendees had the opportunity to learn from and network with local industry professionals representing more than 30 companies and organizations. After a second successful summit, the chapter has validated the need for events of this nature in Boston and built community relationships that they will leverage far beyond the annual career summit. 

A shared passion

While success in our chapter network comes in many forms, Net Impact Yale, Net Impact McCombs, and Net Impact Boston all share a passion to transform their communities. We’re so inspired by their accomplishments and hope that these successes will inspire other chapters and members!

Want to get involved? Find a chapter near you.

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