Capstone – Project

Develop Associate Board of Ambassadors Expansion Strategy Capstone Summer2020

A Collaboration Between

Project Synopsis

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is looking to nationally scale the Associate Board of Ambassadors (ABOA) strategy they’ve developed in Chicago. The ABOA in Chicago is the largest and most successful board of young up-and-coming leaders that are committed to serving ACS through fundraising and events. The Chicago ABOA currently includes 155  young professionals who raise $500,000 successfully each year. The leadership team in Chicago is excited to work with you to assemble a launch playbook for ABOAs in new markets. They expect you’ll help them analyze why the strategy has been successful in Chicago, how to jumpstart the ABOA program in new markets, identify the markets that are most ripe for an ABOA, establish a set of expectations and rewards for new cities, and ultimately help shed light on how the ABOA strategy will impact the ACS in the mid-to-long term.

We have initial work done on analyzing ABOA data trends. Students will have the opportunity to review this data, the analysis and initial projections for ABOA expansion. We will also put students in touch with our Data & Technology innovation pod so they can be included in critical discussion regarding how data is used to further expand the ABOA’s efforts. In addition to data analysis, we would like students to work with our ABOA executive directors on establishing an ABOA playbook that incorporates best practices for new ABOA chapters in other markets. Students will gather both qualitative and quantitative data to draft this playbook. We also ask that students will examine the current climate due to COVID-19 and propose problem-solving solutions that will allow the ABOA’s fundraising strategies to continue to thrive. Students should also take their analysis of the effects of COVID-19 and apply them to an overall ACS strategy that will help the organization understand options to help recuperate from the damages experienced during this pandemic. In short, here are the 3 main goals associated with this project:

  1. Analyze membership and fundraising data with the ABOA
  2. Create an ABOA playbook to determine best practices that will support new ABOA chapters launch in new markets
  3. Propose solutions to help the ABOA and ACS recover from the effects of COVID-19

Project Topics

Company Information

CompanyAmerican Cancer Society
StageLarge Enterprise
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time

Company Overview

At the American Cancer Society, we're on a mission to free the world from cancer. Until we do, we'll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. All so you can live longer — and better.

Experiential Learning Program Details

SchoolAdelphi University
Engagement FormatCapstone - Small Team Consulting Project - Students work in consulting teams of 3-5 directly with faculty and client liaisons on developing real solutions to real-world challenges.
CourseAdelphi University’s Jagger Fellows Program- Capstone Summer2020
  • All Undergraduate
  • Advanced Undergraduate
  • All Graduate
Students Enrolled6
Meeting Day & TimeTBD
Student Time Commitment4-7 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment2 Hours
Duration19.43 Weeks

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Type
Official Project Kickoff

Official Project Kickoff

We'll web conference company senior leadership into class to introduce the company, meet the students, and discuss the project goals.
June 12th, 2020 Event na
Final Presentations Final Presentations
Students will present final insights to the company's senior leadership. Please upload the final deliverables.
August 7th, 2020 Submission Required submission-required

Key Project Milestones

  • June 29, 2020 - COVID-19 Analysis

    The interns will analyze how COVID-19 has affected the American Cancer Society and other non-profit organizations. They will also propose ideas as to how the Society can pivot to continue having significant impact for cancer patients both in terms of revenue and mission.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    An outline of the effects of COVID-19 as well as a proposal document for the best path forward.

  • July 3, 2020 - Get Up-To-Speed on ACS and the Current Associate Board of Ambassadors (ABOA) in Chicago

    • Learn more about the American Cancer Society. What does the organization do?
    • Evaluate the current ABOA Model in Chicago?
      • Why did they develop an ABOA?
      • What works well?
      • What can be improved?
      • How are young professionals recruited?
      • How diverse and inclusive is the ABOA? Consider industry and leadership background/demographics
      • Does the ABOA represent the community they serve?
      • Where else besides Chicago does the ABOA exist? Why have/haven’t they been successful to-date?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Prepare for executive team interviews from various offices

    Prepare for Leadership Interviews from Chicago ABOA

  • July 24, 2020 - Develop ABOA Expansion Strategy

    • How do ACS markets outside of Chicago think about building an ABOA?
    • Have they tried? What are some of their challenges?
    • How would you roll out an ABOA in a new city?
    • How do you think about Diversity and Inclusiveness when building an ABOA?
    • How do we set goals for the ABOA in new cities? (Think about short term, mid-term, and long-term goals)
    • How do we incentivize the highest performers of the ABOA in a sustainable way? Consider tiered markets and goals based on city-by-city criteria
    • What markets seem optimal for launch based on the success in Chicago?  Choose 10 and defend your choices

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Develop ABOA Growth Strategy and Launch Toolkit for New Cities (With overview of program based on Chicago’s success so far)

  • July 31, 2020 - What does ABOA look like in 3-5 years if successful?

    • What’s the future of the ABOA strategy?
    • How do you expect the ABOA Strategy to change and grow over time?
    • What resources are needed from ACS to develop this robust ABOA strategy?
    • What outcomes will the ABOAs produce related to fundraising, events and more over the next 3-5 years?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Showcase growth and impact of the ABOA strategy on ACS over the mid-to-long term

  • August 14, 2020 - Deliver ABOA Playbook

    The interns will develop an ABOA playbook that outlines best practices, data analysis, and proposals for how to expand in new markets.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    An actual playbook that can be edited in a Word format or similar program.

Project Resources

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Industry Mentors

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Academic Mentors

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Assigned Students

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