Acumen Blog

Net Impact 2007 versus 2008: A Business Student Perspective

An NYU Stern student with a traditional consulting and a nonprofit background talks about the difference between Net Impact 2007 in Tennessee and this year’s conference in 2008, and the trends he’s observed due to the financial crisis.

On the general vibe at Net Impact 2008:
I think people in general had a mix of fear and optimism depending on the sector they are interested in.  Those who want to work in healthcare and education feel a little more optimistic.  Non-profits, too.

Everyone brought their A game.  Last year, you didn’t see that.  This year 80% are business professional; last year, only 50%.  Some wore jeans.  Today everyone is wearing a suit.  You can tell that the job market has changed significantly

On the Career Fair:

This year it’s better than last year.  The level of professionalism was higher this year.  They didn’t just send HR professionals – which is what they did last year – this year they brought people who are a lot closer to the decision-makers in their companies.

It seems like the current crisis works in favor of the social sector. For example, there were a lot more people at the Bridgespan-type tables that there were last year. This is a good thing in the short term, but the non-profit sector needs to be cautious of cherry picking talent.  There would be long-term ramifications if these people weren’t truly committed to the field.

Finding the right balance of skills and commitment is really important – but it’s difficult.


Reflections on the India Fellows Seminar

Each year, the India Fellows Program brings together up to 20 emerging leaders from different regions, sectors, and socio-economic backgrounds in India. During the fellowship year, Fellows remain in their jobs and meet every 6-8 weeks throughout the year for 4 seminars and 2 collaborative projects, each about a week long. As the India Fellows Associate, Jacqui is responsible for supporting all aspects of the program recruitment, logistics, marketing and strategic planning. Below, Jacqui reflects on the first seminar, Foundations of Leadership. You can read more about the fellowship program here[Read More]

Adaptive Leadership in Action: Addressing Cultural Norms & Giving Women a Voice

In the fall of 2013, +Acumen launched the course Adaptive Leadership: Mobilizing for Change in partnership with the Cambridge Leadership Associates. This course is for anyone who wants to become more effective at leading their organization through change. Below, one of the course participants shared her story about how this course impacted her work and ability to affect change. [Read More]

Making Sense of Social Impact in Action: The Value of Educating Our Youth

At Acumen, one of the most common questions we get is how we measure social impact. Our newest +Acumen course – Making Sense of Social Impact: Acumen’s Building Blocks for Impact Analysis. – will provide an entry point for how to think about impact and we’ll share frameworks that help us define what to measure and why. Makoto Matsuura, founder of cobon a not-for-profit focused on youth education in Jakarta, Indonesia and Osaka, Japan, took a pilot version of this course and shared his reflections with us. [Read More]

Good news for philanthropists in the U.K. and Europe

We are excited to announce that Acumen now holds a CAF Charitable Trust in the United Kingdom. CAF, the Charities Aid Foundation, is a registered U.K. charity. By donating to Acumen through CAF, you can use Gift Aid if the amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax you’ve paid for the tax year in which you make your donation is at least equal to the amount of basic rate tax  [the charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) and any other charities or CASCs] you donate to will reclaim on your gift. CAF will reclaim 25% Gift Aid from HM Revenue & Customs and pass this through to Acumen.  The donor can claim higher rate tax relief (for more information, please refer to CAF’s online resource, What Is Gift Aid?). [Read More]

d.light Leaders Named 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary markets in the developing world, today announced that d.light, along with 37 other individuals and organizations in the 2014 class, will be fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum. [Read More]