Rachel Benevento is the newest member of the Princeton AlumniCorps team. Most recently, she worked at VolunteerConnect in Princeton, creating a skills-based volunteer pilot program. Rachel also served as a VolunteerConnect board member, helping to create a new service model for the organization. Previously, she engaged corporate employees in cancer education and fundraising initiatives for the American Cancer Society.
Rachel has also worked at Columbia University where she founded the Alumni Partnership Program, connecting current and former students on a personal level through various forums. As a board member for Community Impact at Columbia, she advised staff and student coordinators on programmatic challenges and evaluated new program proposals. She earned an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has worked as a freelance writer and editor. Rachel holds a B.A. in history from Columbia.
Regarding Community Volunteers, Rachel writes: “I am excited to help Community Volunteers reach its potential in engaging mid-career alumni in meaningful public service opportunities. Matching the professional expertise of program participants to the needs of local nonprofit organizations will provide critical outlets for alumni to channel their passions and make a difference in their community.”
Contact Rachel to learn about Community Volunteers and Emerging Leaders at RBenevento@alumnicorps.org.
John Fish is the founder of what is now called the Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program (it began as the Public Interest Program). John still lives in Chicago, where more than 300 interns and fellows have been placed. John has served on the Board many times throughout the years, and he was just elected as Board Chair on October 1.
Chet Safian expanded and led the Project 55 Fellowship Program in New York City, where more than 350 interns and fellows have been placed. Chet also founded The Alumni Network, which helps to create and support alumni-driven organizations modeled on ours. There are currently 28 TAN affiliates, and they have placed more than 700 interns and fellows this year.
This year, 54 Project 55 fellows are serving at 44 public interest organizations in seven U.S. cities. They join a growing cadre of more than 1,300 alumni of the program. In addition to the Project 55 Fellowship Program, AlumniCorps’ two new programs – Emerging Leaders and Community Volunteers – provide opportunities for alumni of all ages to put their passions to work in the public interest. To learn more about each of these programs, please visit www.alumnicorps.org.
Princeton AlumniCorps envisions a day when all Princeton graduates will embrace civic involvement as their responsibility as alumni and citizens, throughout their lives. To that end, we provide alumni with opportunities, training, and support needed to put their energies to work addressing significant social issues.
Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program
54 PP55 fellows are serving at 44 public interest organizations this year.
In total, alumni of the program now number more than 1,300.
Fellows are currently serving in seven geographic areas: Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Philadelphia, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.
About 10% of the senior class applies for a PP55 fellowship each year.
Princeton AlumniCorps’ newest initiative, launched in June 2011 in Washington, DC.
A 10-month professional development program designed to transform young nonprofit professionals into the sector’s future leaders.
First class of 11 participants are alumni of the PP55 program, Princeton, and other institutions.
The program curriculum interweaves the development of leadership, management, and hard nonprofit skills with mentoring, peer support, and networking within the sector.
Emerging Leaders put their learning into action by designing and executing projects that generate real results for their organizations.
The Community Volunteers program connects alumni from the classes of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s to innovative civic engagement opportunities.
Volunteers offer nonprofits cost-free access to professional expertise while nonprofit partners offer alumni opportunities to serve their communities in a truly meaningful way.
Community Volunteers matches alumni with such opportunities as service on nonprofit boards, pro bono work addressing specific organizational needs, individual volunteer matching, and more.
The Alumni Network
The Alumni Network (TAN) helps other groups of college alumni to organize programs modeled on our example.
Affiliates include more than 30 public interest programs at colleges and universities across the country (e.g. at Harvard, Dartmouth and Stanford), including some working abroad.
Taken together, TAN affiliates have placed more than 7,000 interns and fellows since the Network was formed.
In many of our cities, we work with TAN affiliates and host joint seminars and social gatherings, to connect fellows with an extensive community of nonprofit professionals.
Dick Turner, 79, of Cape May, New Jersey, died peacefully on Friday, September 9, following a battle with cancer. For the many staff members, Board members, classmates, and alums who have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dick, he will be remembered as a gifted writer (our Board scribe for many years), an art historian, and an avid environmentalist, with a wry sense of humor and a warm heart.
Mr. Turner was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1932, and received bachelor’s, master of fine arts, and PhD degrees from Princeton University. He was a Fulbright scholar, and held a number of academic appointments during his career. He was an instructor in fine arts at the University of Michigan, professor of art and archaeology at Princeton University, dean of the faculty and professor of fine arts at Middlebury College, and president of Grinnell College. He finished his career at New York University, where he held a number of positions, including director of the Institute of Fine Arts, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences, professor of fine arts, director of the New York Institute of Humanities, and the Paulette Goddard professor chair in arts and humanities.
Mr. Turner was a Leonardo da Vinci scholar, an expert on the Florentine Renaissance, and the author of a number of books, including Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy; Art of Florence; Inventing Leonardo; Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art; and, La Pietra: Florence, a Family, and a Villa.
He was very active in a number of organizations, serving on the board of directors of New Jersey Audubon and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. He was a member of the College Art Association, the Century Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Princeton Project 55.
Photography and birding were two of Mr. Turner’s greatest passions. He honed his skills as an amateur photographer over the years, and was an avid bird watcher and devoted to the Cape May Bird Observatory, where he volunteered countless hours and made many friends.
In addition to his wife Jane of 56 years, Mr. Turner is survived by sons Louis (Barb) of Minneapolis, MN, and David (Robin) of Sarasota, FL; a sister Betsy Turner of Newfoundland, PA; grandchildren Chase, Mills, Melley, Lark, Alexander, and Garrett; and step-grandchildren Emma and Alex.
His kind and generous spirit will be missed by everyone who knew him.
In lieu of flowers , donations may be made in Mr. Turner’s name to New Jersey Audubon, 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ, 07924, or at njaudubon.org.
A memorial for family and friends will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Cape May Bird Observatory, 600 Route 47 North (Delsea Drive), Cape May Courthouse, NJ.
Princeton AlumniCorps Board Chair Kenly Webster ’55 and President Bill Leahy ’66 were interviewed for Shared Effort by Jim Lynn ’55. Plans are underway for Kenly’s replacement as Chair after his three year tenure expires this June.
Q: Kenly, you’re finishing up your second hitch as Chair. How did the problems you had to deal with change between the first hitch and the second?
KW: Roughly three years ago we [then Princeton Project 55] adopted a new mission statement that was the product of a Board no longer dominated by Class of ’55 members, with the assistance of a PP55 President from another class. Transition was a major new challenge. With transition came a strengthening of the responsibility of the Executive Director and much more centralized control, which took patience to accomplish.
Q: What was your biggest challenge as chairman?
KW: The biggest challenge clearly was to implement, without contention, the transition. Smooth transition was critical.
BL: I think that as President in this transition, my role was to assist in expanding the board, looking for individuals from the younger classes.
Q: Was there ever a time when you worried that this really might not work out well?
KW: The doubt came about nine years ago when we were experimenting with other forms of succession that did not materialize. Mainly, we sought to identify another class to pick up the management of PP55, and that turned out to be a concept that other classes were not willing to undertake as a class.
Q: What’s the next big challenge facing the organization?
BL: All of us were affected profoundly by the economic downturn. Regardless of how the transition was going, the reality was that finances were going to potentially affect what we could do to sustain and expand the program. This was all beyond our control, and it’s been heartening to shore up last year – a year that could have been a profound deficit – by establishing the [20th anniversary] gala, which made it a profitable year instead. This financial challenge, of course, will continue into the future.
The other challenge which we have worked with over the last couple years has been integrating individual classes with Princeton AlumniCorps. It has been difficult because this organization began with a camaraderie of a group within a class. This is the kind of spirit the University kind of instills in each class, and when you bring institutions together and try to merge them and their interests, sometimes you end up not being able to do it because of individual spirits – “we should be in charge” or “it has to be a class number.” The name change allowed for other generations to feel engaged with our organization.
We’ve initiated two new programs: the Community Volunteers program, which I think is going to be another way of engaging people who have had no true relationship with the original organization, and secondly the Emerging Leaders program, which should allow us to sustain many of our PIP alumni into the nonprofit world – which I hope in turn will bring them back for Board positions with our organization.
Q: Is there any danger now that Princeton AlumniCorps might be spreading itself too thin with two new programs at once along with a very well-seasoned and successful Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program (formerly the PIP)?
KW: I do not think so. Financially, we have, for 20 years, raised the money to do what we wanted to do. There are many supporters of the organization to draw upon. From the standpoint of staffing there are ways to ensure that projects have less demand on staff and that staff has efficient participation in the projects. In sum, you have two safety belts: one is strong staff organization (and hiring outside people to help), and the other is a wide network to attract funding.
Q: Now’s your chance to answer any questions we should have asked but didn’t.
BL: Any organization goes through its adolescence and into its early adulthood, and this organization was doing that as they approached their 20th year. What happened was the development of discipline within the Board – some very individual subcommittees, with designated rules and procedures, which are going to be very important as we go forward, because an organization really can’t survive when it meets on an ad-hoc basis and without any kind of internal discipline. This is very important for the issue of perpetuity.
KW: How is transition going to ensure perpetuity? I think we have put in place a very strong organization comprised of the Board, board committees and staff. Although we have the transition in place, we’re going to have to fight each year to keep it permanent. To do this we have targeted programs that are designed to attract leadership and financial contributions from alumni classes from all decades after the ’50s.
A second force in perpetuity may well be attracting leaders from graduates of the PIP program. Almost all of the current leadership comes from graduates of Princeton, who as such have a common bond. But there is a second common bond among the PIP graduates who have all vastly benefited from the program. Therefore there is an additional fertile leadership source from these program graduates. But I would not expect a president of the organization to come from the PIP alumni for yet a number of years.
Join the Princeton AlumniCorps team as we continue to engage alumni from across the generations in “the Nation’s service and in the service of all nations”!
Community Outreach Manager
Princeton AlumniCorps (formerly Princeton Project 55) is an independent alumni-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that inspires and builds civic leadership among alumni across generations by engaging them in significant activities that influence and improve our society.
Position Overview and Responsibilities
The Community Outreach Manager will be primarily responsible for enhancing the public profile of Princeton AlumniCorps by implementing a coherent communications strategy and by effectively managing the Community Volunteers outreach program. The Community Outreach Manager will report to the Executive Director.
Oversee the growth of the Community Volunteers program:
The Princeton AlumniCorps Community Volunteers program provides opportunities for Princeton alumni to connect with civic engagement opportunities in the nonprofit sector. During the pilot year, alumni participants were from the classes of the `60s, `70s, and `80s. Our primary engagement strategy is focused on a continuum of skills-based opportunities, ranging from connecting alumni to positions on nonprofit Boards of Directors to organizing pro-bono alumni working groups to assist nonprofit organizations with substantive short-term projects.
The Community Outreach Manager will be responsible for overseeing the recruitment and vetting of nonprofit organizations, creating and maintaining a collection of Board and working group opportunities in nonprofit organizations, identifying alumni interests, and developing resources for program participants. Key staff and volunteers have recently completed a 2011 strategic plan for the Community Volunteers program, detailing our vision of the program after the pilot year.
Work with key volunteers to coordinate the development of the Community Volunteers program structure
Develop meaningful impact evaluation goals, methods and timeline, based on the 2011 strategic plan
Identify the skills and goals of potential alumni participants
Seek out volunteer opportunities(marketing, strategic planning, etc) to make use of the skills found in our alumni base
Survey potential nonprofit partners to identify projects within our program capabilities.
Develop materials outlining the opportunities and resources available to alumni who are seeking substantive experiences in the nonprofit sector.
Work with local volunteers to plan and support outreach, training and orientation events.
Effectively communicate program goals and expectations with all potential program participants by designing and updating Community Volunteer program communications.
Explore opportunities for collaboration with similar nonprofits.
Explore opportunities to expand and develop Community Volunteers in other cities.
Field inquiries from all potential program participants.
Work with AlumniCorps Communications Committee to oversee organization-wide communications strategy
Implement the 2011 Communications Strategy to broaden awareness of programs and to increase visibility and interest among key audiences.
Define and work with staff and volunteers to recognize communications opportunities and define/execute appropriate strategies to support them.
Oversee organization-wide print and digital communications including the quarterly Shared Effort newsletter, appeals, public invitations, program directories, brochures, reports, and website content development.
Produce a variety of written materials about AlumniCorps and its activities, and edit written materials developed by other AlumniCorps staff members.
Develop AlumniCorps’ website and other social media as dynamic information resources.
Serve on and help to facilitate the AlumniCorps Board Communications Committee.
Supervise communications intern(s).
Collaborate with other staff as needed and appropriate.
Collaborate and communicate with alumni volunteers as needed.
Aid in organization-wide initiatives including, but not limited to, Board meetings, programs, events, office maintenance.
Demonstrate Princeton AlumniCorps’ values in all aspects of your daily work.
Excellent community-building and volunteer management skills
Excellent verbal, writing, editing and proofreading skills and an outstanding ability to build positive relationships.
Ability to constructively edit the work of others.
Excellent sense of effective marketing design.
Demonstrated success working in a team environment and independently.
Strong organizational skills, with demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate several projects simultaneously
Demonstrated skills in project management, including organization, attention to detail, and confidence managing multiple tasks simultaneously to accomplish a goal.
Demonstrated success in production of diverse communication and promotional materials.
Interest in program development and trends in the nonprofit sector
Familiarity with common software programs including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access), Acrobat, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, email applications
Experience in basic web design and content management.
Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, public relations or related field
Flexibility and openness to new ideas and feedback
Sense of humor
Experience with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge and NetCommunity
Knowledge of PHP MYSQL, any mix Flash, DHTML, HTML, XLML and CSS.
2-5 years experience working in the nonprofit sector
Starting salary will range from $40,000-$50,000 depending on previous experience. Compensation includes medical and dental insurance, employer matched 403(b), 20 days of paid time off, and generous holidays.
The position is located at the Princeton AlumniCorps central office, 12 Stockton Street in Princeton, NJ.
Interested individuals should email a resume and letter of interest and qualifications by Wednesday, April 20, 2011 (earlier if possible) to John Shriver, Program Director at JShriver@alumnicorps.org
A late May orientation and start date in early June will be determined by mutual agreement.