This year marks the five-year anniversary of the ICF Foundation’s Ignite Initiative and the impact it has made around the world. Ignite: Engaging Coaching for Humanity and the Planet is an ICF Foundation initiative driven by ICF Chapters, Members and Credential-holders who deliver pro bono coaching in their local communities.
Ignite was inspired by the positive impact that coaching could have on the world — including its ripple effects — when applied to social impact. Coaching for social impact accelerates and amplifies change for those who work to make the world a better place. It could be the spark of light to ignite humanity!
As part of the ICF Foundation’s strategic goal to advance social impact through coaching, we aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. At first focusing on Goal 4 (Education), Ignite has now expanded into all 17 of the Goals.
A Shining Example of Ignite’s Impact
Ignite partners with leaders in social change organizations who are working to make the world a better place. One of the most recent Ignite Initiatives engaged student and faculty leaders at Shoolini University, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.
Shoolini University prides itself as a young, research-focused, philanthropic university, founded and run by academicians and professionals. The multi-disciplinarily university has a unique research-and-innovation model, which drives cutting-edge knowledge and innovation, while also working for the social and economic upliftment of the community at the same time. The university was established in 2009 with the mission to be a role model for private university education in India. This unique set of values made them an ideal Ignite partner.
The Ignite data from this initiative is impressive. Over a six-month period, 100 coaches provided more than 1,029 pro bono coaching sessions to 300 Shoolini University faculty and student leaders. Coaching was new to many of the participants. In fact, 70% of respondents, many of whom were millennials, had never experienced coaching before.
All participants experienced success. Eighty-seven percent indicating that at least half to all their goals were met through the coaching experience, and 94% would recommend coaching to others.
This Ignite Initiative focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Top indicators of motivation and self-efficacy include the following:
- 98% were motivated to act on learning from coaching.
- 94% had a strong sense of clarity of their goals during coaching.
- 93% found confidence they could find the means to achieve goals during coaching.
Many participants experienced significant changes in the following:
- 76% reported improved negotiation and influence skills.
- 67% reported in improved communication skills.
- 66% reported better problem-solving skills and time management.
The University found effects of the Ignite Initiative to include operational efficiency and time savings.
You, too, can create social impact through Ignite like the coaches with the Shoolini University project did.
Participate in Ignite
No project is too small! If you have a nonprofit you are passionate about, consider coaching their leaders as a part of the Ignite Initiative.
As you create your project, make sure to include other ICF-credentialed coaches. This can range from a network of coach colleagues to a chapter initiative. Our Council of Ambassadors is also available to assist you as you create an initiative. Plus, when approaching other coaches or an organization, you can even reference the organizations that have participated in past Ignite projects.
Utilize the Ignite Resource Suite of Tools
The ICF Foundation has worked hard to create materials that ease the workload for our initiatives so that you can do what you do best — coach! The Ignite Resource Suite of Tools provide templates, best practices and project materials. Plus, we invite you to join the Ignite Basecamp site to connect with peers who are also creating initiatives in their local communities.
Measure Social Impact
In the beginning and throughout the project, be sure to communicate the importance of measuring the initiative’s success with the organizations and individuals involved. As you are speaking with the organization, coaches and clients, talk about the impact potential.
Are you ready to make a difference, to explore new horizons with Ignite in your community? Together we will engage through the power of coaching to meet local and global challenges!
Share Your Impact
We want to hear about the impact you’ve made! Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about the impact and difference your Ignite Initiative has made within your community.