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Capstone Projects

As part of our efforts to involve you directly in shaping the future of ServiceCorps, we are introducing the Capstone Projects. The Capstone Projects are comprised of three distinct projects:

  1. Capstone Project: Improving and Scaling ServiceCorps (Team)
  2. SSP Case Study: Measuring our Social Impact  DUE: May 31
  3. ServiceStack (+Essay): Understanding the Fellow Experience DUE: May 31

Capstone Project: This team Capstone Project is part of a greater vision to challenge you to think about non-profit leadership in the social sector through the lens of scaling ServiceCorps. The Capstone Project is facilitated in coordination with our Corporate Partners. 

SSP Case Study: The SSP Case Study allows Fellow to catalog the impact they've made during their Service Placement.

ServiceStack (+Essay): The ServiceStack, which is composed of a photographic presentation and a short essay, captures the essence of the ServiceCorps Fellowship experience. This photographic and essay testimonial will be preserved for future Fellowship classes. 

Part 1: Capstone Challenge in partnership with Citi and GE

ServiceCorps Capstone Project

ServiceCorps’ mission is to build and mobilize a lifelong community of courageous leaders collaborating to advance justice and opportunity for all. ServiceCorps faces different growth challenges as it carries out its mission on a larger scale. These challenges apply to our different stakeholders of corporate partners, social sector partners (SSPs), Fellows, donors, and ServiceCorps leadership.

ServiceCorps’ vision is to offer corporate-bound college graduates across the country the opportunity to engage in service and tackle social issues head on. We fundamentally believe this chance would foster stronger leadership skills and empathy for others. As ServiceCorps grows into a world class program, we want our Fellows to be directly involved in shaping the future of this organization. Therefore, we challenge you, the first ambassadors of ServiceCorps, to help us expand our mission now.


2017 Problem Statement:

Considering our different stakeholders and resource constraints, how can we optimize the ServiceCorps business model during its transition from year 1 to year 2 and beyond?

Part 1: Business Model Challenges:

  • A. Increasing Corporate Partnerships
  • B. Fundraising, Financial Sustainability, and Finding Opportunities to Enhance/Leverage Resources (without increasing cost)
  • C. Increasing Student Demand & Awareness

Part 2: Innovation Opportunities:

  • A. Alternative Models
  • B. Regional Expansion
  • C. Other



Team A: Rebecca, Becky, Henry, Madeline

  • Led by Kristina Deighan (Citi)

Team B: Ben, Laura, Mark

  • Led by Lauren Goldstein (GE)

Team C: Kevin, Nicole, Elizabeth, Emily

  • Led by Morgan Porpora (Citi)  


Challenge & Deliverables:

Fellows will be split into their three Committees and will present research-based recommendations to a panel made of the ServiceCorps team and representatives from Citi and GE, during Closing Weekend on Monday, June 12th.

Part 1—Business Model Challenges

  • Team A, Corporate Partnerships 
  • Team B, Fundraising
  • Team C, Demand and Awareness

Part 2—Innovation Opportunities

  • Team A, B, C: Develop a strategy for Part 2  A, B, or C of their choosing.

Teams A, B, C, will have 20 minutes to present a PowerPoint deck, with 10 minutes of Q&A.

The winning team will receive special recognition from ServiceCorps’ Corporate Partners and the best findings across all teams will be incorporated into the ServiceCorps strategic business model planning.


Background on Problem Statement:

Part 1: Business Model Challenges:

A.  Increasing Corporate Partnerships

  • Research ways for Fellows and ServiceCorps staff to connect with Fortune 500 companies and secure new corporate partnerships

B.  Fundraising, Financial Sustainability, and Finding Opportunities to Enhance/Leverage Resources (without increasing cost)

  • Brainstorm options for ServiceCorps staff and stakeholders to create a holistic and actionable fundraising strategy (i.e. foundation grants, individual donations, board donations, etc.)
  • ServiceCorps has currently raised money through individual donations and board member contributions
  • Think of creative ways in which ServiceCorps can increase resources without additional cost (i.e. volunteers, interns, etc.)

C.      Increasing Student Demand

  • Determine how each current class of Fellows and staff can help with recruiting and increase conversion rate
  • Discern reasons why most college seniors do not commit to ServiceCorps (e.g. 10% showed interest, but only 2% of Citi summer analysts convert to ServiceCorps Fellows)
  • Consider ways to market on and off campus, targeting students at the appropriate year of college

Part 2: Innovation Opportunities:                  

A. Alternative/Additional Models:

  • 6-month service year, halved and intensified
  • A third year analyst program
    • Would allowing third year analysts to complete a service year improve corporate retention, employee satisfaction, and help the nonprofits?

B. Strategize for regional expansion

  • Considering our current programming, how should ServiceCorps go about expanding to different cities across the U.S.?
  • Understand geographical barriers and stakeholder demand

C. Explore any other ideas you may have around innovation for growth



  • Coordinate with the ServiceCorps staff to obtain relevant information.
  • Speak with nonprofits and current/prospective corporate partners to understand their perspectives and interests in the various aspects of a program such as ServiceCorps.
  • Conduct external research into best practices of other nonprofits or start-ups that are solving for similar challenges.
  • Fellows will be able to work on this project in their biweekly seminars , but will need to meet more frequently given the scope of the project


Skills Gained:

By fully participating in this research project, Fellows will gain:

  • A direct opportunity to help ServiceCorps scale and have a real impact on the business model
  • Analytical practice in breaking down a complex challenge
  • Leadership development and project management skills
  • Research and presentation experience
  • Teamwork and community building opportunities
  • Resume enhancer


High-Level Timeline:

  • March 10: Capstone Project Kick-Off Call
  • March 17: Deadline for Teams’ Completion of 1st meeting with Facilitator
  • April 1-9: Leadership Capital Institute 2: Guatemala
  • April 28: Capstone Challenge Check-In Call
  • June 12: Final Presentations (in person)

Part 2: SSP Case Study

DUE: May 31

The SSP Case Study is designed for you to show off the impact you have had on your placement this year. This case study will walk through your bio and motive for joining ServiceCorps, the bio of your SSP, the needs of your SSP for hosting a Fellow, the outcome of your role there, a testimonial of your experience working at your placement, and finally a testimonial of the placement’s experience hosting you. This activity is meant to have you reflect and think critically about your added value to your SSP’s mission and goals. The case study should follow a simple, easy-to-read format which covers the above (a template and example will be sent to guide you).

All case studies will be used in ServiceCorps marketing and promotional materials as well as in a book that ServiceCorps will compile for each class. Please note your case studies may be formatted differently in these publications.


·         Reflect on the various tasks and high-level projects you completed over the year

·         Fill out your case study template that tells your compelling story (this is about you and the hard work you have put into this year at your SSP!)

·         Ask your manager and Executive Director/CEO for a 1-2 sentence quote or testimonial that will appear on this case study and be publicly shared (N.B. this should be in addition to the recommendation/reference you may want to request for your own professional development!)

o   Your manager’s quote should directly reference your specific impact at the SSP

o   Your Executive Director’s quote can reference your specific impact and/or speak to the value of partnering with ServiceCorps and hosting a Fellow in general

May 31: First draft of SSP Case Study sent to ServiceCorps
June 5: ServiceCorps will provide feedback
June 7: Final draft of SSP Case Study sent to ServiceCorps

Kevin's Example Case Study

Your Template 

Part 3: ServiceStack (+Essay)

DUE: May 31

The ServiceStack is a combination of a photographic and oral presentation that captures the essence of the individual ServiceCorps Fellowship experience.

Key Materials: 8 slide PowerPoint

Background: The ServiceStack is based off of other rapid-fire presentation styles such as PechaKucha from Tokyo and Ignite Talks from Seattle (see video examples below). During these quick presentations, a number of slides are shown for equal amounts of time while the presenter speaks. This format keeps presentations concise and fast-paced.

Details: The ServiceCorps version of the rapid-fire presentation consists of 8 slides for 30 seconds each, for a total of 4 minutes. The ServiceStack will be presented by all Fellows during the closing weekend and the top three presentations, as selected by the Fellows, will be presented at Launch Night.

Preparation: As with all public speaking, excellence is as much a product of substance as it is with practice. Thus, ample time is required to create a compelling ServiceStack presentation.

Step 1: The Story
What story do you want to tell? How do you want to tell it? Do you want to talk about one or two small stories? Do you want to cover the entire service year? 

Step 2: The Slides
Slides will often be photos from your service year, but may also be photos from other moments in your life. Slides could also display diagrams that show the model behind the work of your service placement organization.

Step 3: Delivery & Timing
Practice, practice, practice! The mirror is a good place to start, but nothing beats practicing in front of other people. Some people will memorize their "lines," while others will follow a set of prepared bullet points.  

May 31: First draft ServiceStack slides sent to ServiceCorps
June 5: ServiceCorps will provide feedback as needed
June 7: Final draft ServiceStack slides sent to ServiceCorps
June 11: ServiceStack presentations during Day 1 of closing weekend
June 12: Top 3 ServiceStack presentations presented in front of audience at Launch Night

The Essay component of the ServiceStack is intended to compliment your presentation in a written format. All essays and accompanying photographs will be published in a book to be distributed to the Fellowship class and other friends and supporters of ServiceCorps. 

Key Materials: 500-750 word essay and optional photos

Background: How will Fellows preserve the memories from their service year? How will ServiceCorps as an institution preserve the experience for potential Fellows and future Fellows? While the ServiceStack presentation provides an excellent opportunity to practice public speaking, the essays will stand the test of time. 

Details: For Fellows who choose to write out and memorize their ServiceStack, you are welcome to adapt those remarks into an essay. Other Fellows may decide to write something entirely new. You are free to use this essay writing opportunity as you wish.

This essay must be between 500-750 words and may include optional photos. 

All essays and selected photos will be used for a book that ServiceCorps will compile for each class. The best essays from over time will be used for additional books and marketing materials.

May 31: First draft of essay sent to ServiceCorps
June 5: ServiceCorps will provide feedback as needed
June 7: Final draft or essay sent to ServiceCorps


ServiceStack style presentation examples


Ignite Talk:Tarek Said - Refugees have funny stories too

We always think of doom and gloom when we think of refugees. What if they were allowed to tell funny stories, too?


Date: Sep 4, 2016


Ignite Talk: Why Education is Broken Today


Date: Jun 23, 2012

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