Reflecting on 2020 with the ICF Foundation
As we enter a season of reflection, the ICF Foundation has also looked back at our year, at what went well and where we want to do better in the new year. What a year we have had, one that many of us never imagined! But amid the chaos, we wanted to share some of the Foundation’s highlights with you.
The cornerstone project of the ICF Foundation, Ignite: Engaging Coaching for Humanity and the Planet, has seen considerable growth in projects and scope over the last year. With this growth, we harnessed the collective power of ICF Chapters to accelerate the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. To date, more than 80 projects have been completed, reaching more than 16 million people around the world.
While these numbers are outstanding, we continue to grow the scope of the initiative to broaden its reach. This past summer, we announced that Ignite can be now conducted by any ICF Chapter, Member or credential–holder, and projects can be affiliated with any of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These changes were met with lots of excitement from ICF Members.
The Foundation is also in the midst of launching our Coaching for Social Impact Pro Bono project. As you may have heard throughout the year, the ICF Foundation is working to launch our Social Impact Pro Bono Pilot projects. The idea behind these projects is that when coaching is applied to a mission-driven organization working toward positive social change, that organization’s mission will go further and its impact will increase. In the initial series of pilot projects, we’ll partner with three to five social change organizations from around the world to offer coaching to their leadership teams. Now more than ever, we feel the world needs its mission-driven, social impact organizations to be as effective and impactful as possible. So, we’re striving to equip them with the coaching tools to do just that.
To further understand the returns of these projects and the impact of coaching in social change organizations, the Foundation is seeking to understand what research is out there regarding the effects of this kind of coaching. To that end, the Foundation has partnered with ICF Academic Research on Coaching for Social Impact specifically to conduct a literature review on the efficacy of coaching for social impact. Our goal is that by reviewing these articles, research and theory, we’ll be able to provide an evaluation of the challenges and opportunities in this area.
In other good news from this year, we are thrilled to share that we are underway on transitioning the ICF Coaches for Good platform to be powered by ICF Foundation. This groundbreaking initiative was created in the spring of 2020 to connect ICF–Credentialed coaches from around the world with individuals and organizations who stand to benefit from pro bono coaching during the global pandemic. Even before this transition, Coaches for Good was successful in utilizing the existing platform to help increase the Foundation’s outreach and impact worldwide.
And last but certainly not least, this year’s Gift of Coaching Collective has been such an inspiration! This year’s collective recognized the impact that coaching has made during the global pandemic, honoring coaches who made a difference by providing pro bono coaching to individuals and mission-driven organizations. For this honor, we received submissions from around the world and featured more than 30 projects that are making a difference in individual communities and around the world.
Though 2020 was challenging for many, we look back on this past year with gratitude for the coaches who joined our mission to advance the coaching profession and strive for social change. We often refer to the African term “Ubuntu,” which means “I am, because you are.” Why? We know that we can only do what we do because of our partnership with you – the coaches. We are, because of you. And with that in mind, we forge ahead into 2021 with high hopes for the good that coaching can bring to a weary world.