Providing Scholarships for Impact on a Sector

Graeme Kelly, SPNM 2010 & Mary Woldridge

In debating how to approach its support of nonprofit leaders to attend HBS executive education programs, the Harvard Club of Australia–Victoria decided the best strategy was to make an impact in one sector. Since 2001, the club has funded scholarships to the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) program for 27 CEOs from nonprofits focused on providing disability support services. According to Graeme Kelly, SPNM 2010, CEO of the E.W. Tipping Point Foundation, this consistency of effort has strengthened the community by increasing the speed and quality of reform through improved leadership capacity. Indeed, this network of attendees has played a critical role in advocating for reform at both the state and national levels. Building on that success, this year the club has opened the program to the broader community service sector. Mary Wooldridge, MBA 1994, was instrumental in launching the scholarship program 14 years ago; now Minister for Mental Health, Community Services, and Disability Services and Reform, she reflects on its impact: “Harvard Fellows are seen as role models for other CEOs in the disability services sector. In addition, their shared experience has enhanced their collaboration and commitment to driving broader sector reform. They are the leading advocates for the once-in-a-generation changes occurring in the delivery and funding of disability services in Australia.”