May 21, 2024


Our monthly Town Halls are now Live from New York! On the last Wednesday of every month, YANA Town Halls provide an ideal opportunity for mission-driven alums to meet each other and exchange ideas and information to help achieve social impact.

These events occur live at the Yale Club in New York City AND are accessible via Zoom. Join us from anywhere!

If attending in person, join us after the program in the Main Lounge to convene and connect over cocktails. You don’t need to be a Yale Club member to attend YANA meetings and cocktail hour.

Register now for these upcoming events:

Dr. Azita Emami, Dean of the Yale School of Nursing

May 29 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

Nursing is in crisis. While doctors are in charge of a patient’s medical care, nurses are the backbone of our healthcare industry. They are the first people that patients interact with — assessing and triaging patients, monitoring vital signs, and administering treatments while providing compassionate care, and educating individuals and families about health. But the U.S. is now facing a shortfall of up to 450,000 nurses, 20% fewer than required for patient care. Against this backdrop, the Yale School of Nursing, ranked 6th in the world, plays an important leadership role in addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by the nursing profession.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 29th at the Yale Club (and virtually via Zoom) as YANA’s Town Hall spotlights Dr. Azita Emami, Dean of the Yale School of Nursing, who will share her thoughts on the current crisis and her vision for the future.  

David McCullough III ’17, Co-Founder & CEO of the American Exchange Project

June 26 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

To connect our divided country, The American Exchange Project sends high school seniors on a free, week-long trip to a hometown very different from their own. In 2019, David McCullough co-founded AEP as a first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural exchange program for graduated high school seniors. AEP has been hailed as a domestic Peace Corps that is effectively bridging the gap and building greater understanding and empathy across class, cultural, racial, and geographical divides throughout our nation. In 2023, AEP partnered with 53 high schools in 31 states. American Exchange Project has raised more than $5 million and partnered with Harvard psychology researchers to study the program’s long-term impact. To learn more view the profile on AEP broadcast on ABC’s Good Morning America.

YANA Board Matching Night

July 31 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

Speed dating for nonprofit organizations and prospective Board members! This summer, YANA will host its first-ever Board Matching Night, in which organizations seeking to fill board vacancies can “pitch” to our global alumni audience. To apply to present your organization, please tell us about your nonprofit’s mission and your Board needs.


Benefits of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Two Examples from the Ford Foundation’s BUILD Program

One of the basic premises of BUILD (Building Institutions and Networks), the Ford Foundation’s signature $2 billion, 12-year program led by Kathy Reich ’93 is “proximate leadership.” The recognition that those affected by a problem are best positioned to manage solutions to that problem seems obvious, but it hasn’t traditionally been the way philanthropic organizations thought about grants. The idea has gained currency of late in the philanthropic sphere, however, and was a major theme at the 21st Skoll World Forum, attended by both Ken Inadomi and Kathy Reich this past spring in Oxford. Twenty-five BUILD grantees joined Reich to learn from and network with other social entrepreneurs and innovators committed to transformational social change.

With over $1.6 billion in grants distributed to over 500 grantees since Reich joined Ford in 2016, Kathy was hard pressed to name just two organizations she believes benefited from BUILD’s flexible funding model, but she singled out Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) and Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans as organizations whose work might not have continued absent BUILD funds.

AMAN offers critical support to over 2,000 Indigenous communities across the 17,000 islands which make up Indonesia. With 21 regional chapters representing 17 million people living under increasing threats to their land sovereignty due to deforestation and the extraction of natural resources (for which they bear the brunt of the risk but little benefit), AMAN is at the frontlines of the fight against climate change: protecting forests reduces carbon emissions by 300 billion metric tons. When indigenous and local communities have secured land rights, conflict lessens as does violence against women.

AMAN stands for Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago.

BUILD helps AMAN train effective leaders and forge alliances (to fight multinational corporations, who reap most of the benefit from the region’s natural resources as well as weak and/or corrupt governments). Communication is essential to this work with a population separated by vast distances, to say nothing of multiple languages and dialects. In 2017, BUILD provided funds for internet access and updated computer systems.

But for this investment in technology, AMAN would have been non-operational for six months, according to Rukka Sombolingg, the organization’s Secretary General: “We are more consolidated and able to reach our members outside major cities. We are able to drive all of our branches to have their own plans. They have their own agenda [and] priorities.” Sombolingg echoes what other grantees have told BUILD, according to Reich: “We have almost no other funders offering this kind of support, support that can be used for whatever we might need. So because of BUILD, we are able to provide monthly support to our organization chapters across Indonesia.” Since BUILD’s grant, AMAN has received even more money from the Balmer Group and won a Skoll award.

Closer to home, Reich cited Ashé Cultural Center, an arts and community organizing space which celebrates the people, places, and philosophies of the African diaspora across the American South. Before the BUILD grant, the organization had an extremely low operating budget and difficulty attracting interest from international funders, a common issue with organizations led by women and people of color. It’s a performance, film, and gallery space, as well as a recreational and educational center for people of all ages, along with a hub for advocacy.

Asali DeVan Eccliastes became executive director in January of 2020. There wasn’t enough money to pay staff for a month following the Covid shutdown and the executive staff worked for eight months at half its salary. BUILD’s grant not only allowed the center to build a state-of-the-art facility and attract other funders; it introduced the idea of “revenue culture” to the fledgling arts organization. The culture shifted from scarcity and fear (“terror, really”), with the constant threat of liens and foreclosures, to clear-eyed asset strengthening and strategies for debt repayment, which is essential to building confidence in creditors. Storytelling, again, plays a key role in this process. Even when vulnerable, organizations often provide genuine value to the communities they serve but that message often gets drowned out by the pressing financial concerns. Since the 2021 BUILD grant, Ashe’s budget has grown by tenfold, becoming the recipient of a MacKenzie Scott grant.

This is Part 2 of a three-part series on BUILD Director Kathy Reich’s illuminating conversation with Ken Inadomi. Part 3 in which Kathy offers advice for accessing grant money, building a career in philanthropy, interacting with nonprofit boards, and measuring success will appear in the June 4 newsletter. If you would like to read Part 1, click here.


An estimated 66% of Yale alumni are involved in the social impact sector and for many of us, our commitment to giving back began long before attending Yale. For others, our dedication was sparked by what we learned in the classroom, our peers, evident needs in New Haven, and summer work opportunities. In this issue, we highlight two programs, among many at Yale, that provide training in service for the next generation of social impact leaders.

Yale SOM: Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations

Professor Judith Chevalier (YC ’89, MIT PhD) is the William S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics and Faculty Director for the Program on Social Enterprise, Innovation, and Impact at the Yale School of Management. Her research focuses on the impact of new technologies on firms, individuals, and policy. She has written extensively on career choice, career concerns, incentives, job flexibility and gig work. Her class, Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations teaches students to use economic tools to help make mission-driven organizations effective and financially sustainable. Students gain experience providing consulting services to New Haven organizations. Learn more in this short video.

Institute for Social and Policy Studies: Millstone Fellowships

Created in 2023 through a generous gift from Yale College alumni Jennifer Millstone ’00 and David Millstone ’99, the fellowship provides undergraduate students the opportunity to gain valuable experience and build a network of peers and professional contacts in pursuit of public service careers.

When the fellowship was announced, Christina Kinane, assistant professor of political science, ISPS faculty fellow, and faculty advisor of the Millstone Fellowship, expressed her excitement about the program’s ability to cultivate careers in government for Yale students who often feel compelled to take more lucrative offers from companies in finance, technology, and consulting.
“Yale undergrads are driven and ambitious and incredibly smart — really looking to make a big impact on the world,” Kinane said. “But before this new program, we didn’t have the structure, financial support, and mentoring in place to compete with the private sector. Now we do. And it’s more important than ever that we encourage our motivated and amazing students to help shape the future of our government and public policies.”

Kinane said the program will rapidly grow its network infrastructure to serve as a central clearinghouse of information on the opportunities that are available to undergraduates looking for places to make a big impact.

“Interns, especially clever and capable ones like those coming from Yale, are often given opportunities to make an impact quickly,” she said. “By facilitating an early taste of making a substantial contribution, we can encourage influential, long-term careers in the public sector.”

The inaugural class included seven Fellows. This year, the program expanded to fourteen. The fellowship provides $2,500 towards housing, transportation, and other expenses to enable summer internships in local, state, and federal government—and importantly helps build a network of mentors and professional support.


This year, YANA will host two 1stGenYale Summer Bulldog interns. We’re delighted to introduce you to these remarkable Yale undergraduates who will help YANA build its communications tools and further develop YANAconsults, a new initiative to support Yale-related nonprofits.

Daniel Liu '28

Daniel Liu '28

1stGenYale Summer Bulldog Intern

Andrey Sokolov '28

Andrey Sokolov '28

1st GenYale Summer Bulldog Intern

Daniel Liu ‘28 first learned about YANA through the Yale Undergraduate Coalition for Advocacy and Innovation (YUCAI). “A bit of a cumbersome name!” concedes the Computer Science and Economics double major. He was inspired to attend the October 2023 YANA Gala and Social Impact Conference, two days of wide-ranging programming under the themes “Generation to Generation” and “Magnifying Your Mission.”

Since the fall event, Daniel has read the monthly YANA newsletters. He was pleasantly surprised to see a posted internship through the 1stGenYale Summer Bulldog and instantly applied.

Daniel is excited to help YANA serve mission-driven Yale alumni involved in social impact. To this end, he will be analyzing YANA membership needs, conducting an audit of the website, cataloging YANA resources, identifying relevant and current Yale faculty research to share with YANA members, and building a collection of Yale alumni testimonials. He will be working with YANA Interim Director Lisa Rieger ‘79, Board Members Joellyn Gray SOM ‘81 and Stewart Halpern ‘78, SOM ’82, and Communications team members Victoria Ordin ‘95 and Liana Scarim ‘14.

Andrey Sokolov ‘28 is thrilled to be working with YANA Board Member and former Executive Director Rachel Littman ‘91 on a new YANAconsults, a pro-bono alumni consulting project in its early stages of development.

The Ethics, Politics, and Economics major’s introduction to YANA was last October’s 2nd Annual Gala and Social Impact Conference at the Yale Club of New York.

When asked why intern for YANA, rather than another social impact organization, Andrey answered with palpable enthusiasm, “Yale students and alumni have so many skills and opportunities to be of service to others. YANA creates a better environment for alumni in the nonprofit sphere to connect with others and maximize impact.”

Andrey, who knew Littman through Yale Cross Campus’ mentoring program, applied for the posted internship through the 1stGenYale Summer Bulldog program. He looks forward to learning more about how nonprofit organizations function and bringing his pro-bono consulting work on campus to the new YANA program. The Estonian native and longtime Brooklyn resident will be fulfilling his duties to YANA remotely, from Georgia, where he will be refining his language skills.