Social business, Part 6: Companies turn to nonprofits to help develop leaders

By Todd Cohen

To advance its mission of developing the next generation of global health leaders, Global Health Corps looks for partners that recognize the importance of investing in young leaders, said Heather Anderson, vice president of programs for the New York City-based organization.

That approach led to a partnership with technology company HP, or Hewlett-Packard, which provides financial support and donations of technology for Global Health staff and its annual class of fellows.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., also provides employees the opportunity through a competitive process to serve as volunteer advisers to the fellows.

This year, 20 HP advisers are paired with 20 Global Health fellows in Africa and the U.S., speaking or communicating with one another at least once a month, talking about the fellows’ work challenges and career aspirations, and providing support on issues such as supply-chain management, monitoring the evaluation of programs, and playing a technology-related role.

The advisers, in turn get a “first-hand look at what it’s like to be working in a developing country, to be dealing with issues similar or different to what they are dealing with,” Anderson explained.

The partnership benefits both the nonprofit and the company, she said.

“Fellows are able to tap into the mentorship network and learn from the experience of those more senior,” she explained. “And vice versa, senior-level advisers can see what’s happening on the ground in global health in these countries.”

Next: Nonprofits tap corporate expertise

The series:

Part 1: Companies team with causes to add value

Part 2: Companies build giving into business strategy

Part 3: Philanthropy adds value for companies

Part 4: Nonprofit builds corporate partnerships from ground up

Part 5: Company works with nonprofits to build markets

Part 6: Companies turn to nonprofits to help develop leaders

Part 7: Nonprofits tap corporate expertise

Part 8: Company teams with nonprofit to solve social problems

Part 9: Nonprofits work with companies to help find business solutions