New Findings Demonstrate the Social Impact of Coaching - International Coaching Federation
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New Findings Demonstrate the Social Impact of Coaching


Lexington, Kentucky, USA – A new report from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Foundation demonstrates the value coaching not only brings to individual nonprofit leaders but also how their experiences positively impact their teams, organizations and the communities they serve. The report and its findings are a result of the ICF Foundation’s Coaching for Social Impact Project, which was completed in partnership with the New York-based nonprofit organization, Many Hopes.

Many Hopes works to move children out of poverty, provide good health and well-being, and improve inequalities, all of which align with UN Global Goals. When the coaching project began, Many Hopes was in the process of expanding its operations through six partner organizations across three continents.

“This was a growth year for Many Hopes, and coaching sessions were a very valuable part of the thinking through this new phase where so many things were being done for the first time,” said Thomas Keown, founder and CEO of Many Hopes.

Over 12 months, seven ICF-credentialed coaches provided more than 87 pro bono coaching hours to leaders at Many Hopes and its six partner organizations. The objective of this project was to move the metrics of each organization’s strategies and goals, ultimately proving the social return on investment of coaching. The project customized individual leader goals and outcomes to ensure measures were relevant to each organization.

Individual leaders reported improved leadership skills and gains in well-being, and their teams also reported positive impacts. Because of these changes in the leaders and their teams, the seven organizations collectively rescued, equipped, and educated more children during these 12 months than initially planned!

Before this pilot, the majority of these organizations’ leaders had never participated in coaching. Now, 100% of the leaders surveyed said they would like to continue coaching.

“My staff, when there are challenges, they come to me because I am the leader, but who do I go to?” asked James Annan, founder and president of Challenging Heights in Ghana. “Coaching is where I get the support I need.”

Challenging Heights utilizes education, economic empowerment and community mobilization to address the causal factors of child slavery in Ghana. Annan’s coaching experience provided him clarity and actionable steps. He established a greater emphasis on evidence-based research, which allowed him to secure more funding for the organization. He also established a credit union to address children’s financial sustainability and enhance the prospects of establishing an endowment fund for Challenging Heights to ensure the organization’s future sustainability, with a goal to raise 10 million Cedis (GHS) for Ghana cities in 10 years.

When asked whether coaching had accelerated and amplified organizational impact, Guadalupe Pos, of the Guatemalan organization Escuela De La Calle (EDELAC), provided a 5.0 out of 5.0 rating. EDELAC is an institution that intervenes in the causes and effects of social injustice that affect Quetzaltenango’s forgotten children and adolescents. In just one example of the impacts of coaching, Guadalupe stated that EDELAC was able to sustain educational programs in a digital learning environment when COVID shut down nearly all education despite also having their funding cut by 70%. Guadalupe felt his coach not only supported him, but also made it possible for Guadalupe and his team to support 160 children.

The transformations experienced by these leaders also led to self-reported positive impacts on their teams, volunteers, donors and constituents, as shown in the case of Anne Alaniz, co-founder of the Pothawira Project in Malawi. Pothawira empowers individuals in developing countries to achieve their full potential by providing access to quality health care, education and economic opportunity.

“Our improvement in health care quality is due to the effects of coaching related to teamwork and creating a more collaborative environment,” Alaniz said. “For example, management participates in decision-making and problem-solving, employees contribute to staff meetings, team conflicts have decreased, and we have improved how we solve problems.”

To view the complete results and learn more about the Coaching for Social Impact Project, visit


About The International Coaching Federation and the ICF Foundation
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organization leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 50,000-plus members located in more than 140 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organizations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organizations, communities, and the world through coaching.

The ICF Foundation (an ICF family organization) connects and equips professional coaches and organizations to accelerate and amplify impact on social progress through coaching. The ICF Foundation’s programs are part of its long-term strategy to advance social progress through coaching by aligning with the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

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