Since October 2010, the Community Volunteers program has matched experienced Princeton alumni to high-impact pro bono projects in the nonprofit sector. Community Volunteers projects and events have engaged alumni in New Jersey, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, with a focus on graduates from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
As the program has grown, it has become clear that participating alumni do more than just volunteer their time and talent. They bring years of perspective and expertise to bear on important projects or persistent challenges with our nonprofit partners. They draft strategic plans, secure major new sponsorships, advise on tricky legal matters, and propose program improvements. To better express the range and impact of Community Volunteers, AlumniCorps has given this program a new name: ARC Innovators.
The inspiration for the name comes from a simple description of what alumni in the program do: Apply expertise. Renew commitment. Create change. The projects selected for this program require creative thinking and specialized skills to arrive at solutions that help partner organizations meet their missions more effectively. For this reason, alumni who participate in the program are known as Innovators.
Alumni Innovators complete a meaningful project that has a positive impact on the partner organization. They also hone their professional skills, develop new connections in the sector, and clarify their own sense of mission and value. ARC Innovators is designed for alumni who have significant professional experience and want to commit 2-6 months to working closely with senior management at a nonprofit organization in their community. The program is a pathway to action for alumni who meet these criteria, especially those who are:
– Reentering the workforce after raising a family
– Building a resume to help with a job search
– Planning a career change into the nonprofit sector
– Approaching retirement
– Exploring a public issue in more depth
– Getting more involved in their local community
– Looking for a project to add meaning
With this new name comes new energy. Thanks to the Chet Safian Innovation Fund, ARC Innovators is expanding in 2014 with projects in New York City and Washington, DC. The program is currently taking applications for the first round of six New York projects and five new projects in Princeton. DC projects will be announced later this spring.