We hold the light, you lead they way.

Featured Project:


An Alumni Network for Learning and Collaboration


The Goal:

Create a dynamic network of the Gates Foundation's past employees, interns and fellows that supports learning, collaboration, and networking so that the Gates Foundation and its alumni can have even greater impact than they would on their own.


The Work:

As the Gates Foundation began to plan its 15th anniversary in 2014, it sought out Uncommon to help design a cross-platform program to engage its alumni to honor their contributions and in service to its missions. The Uncommon team leveraged more than a decade of experience at the foundation, along with fresh perspectives and community management expertise, to create a high-value network for its members and the foundation.

Activities and deliverables include: 

  • Strategic planning, including goals, guiding principles, governance, work plan and KPIs

  • Program design and management (i.e. events, communities of learning, career development programs)

  • Counsel and support to Alumni Network manager

  • Ongoing project management, editorial support, and program evaluation

The Results:

Over 80% of former employees across 33 countries have joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Alumni Network. The program has been embraced by the foundation’s leadership team, and member engagement is high. An Advisory Board and 200+ Ambassadors are empowered with the tools and resources, and the support of Uncommon, to serve as leaders and doers. This evolution from a staff-led to an alumni-led organization will ensure the model we are creating will be successful and sustainable over the long term.


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