NNIP Alumni Bring Talents to Wide Range of Sectors

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

June 2024

Relationships are the foundation of the National Neighborhood Indicator Partnership (NNIP). Local partners started the network almost three decades ago to learn from each other about how to help communities use data to shape strategies and investments so that all neighborhoods are places people can thrive. The NNIP Alumni Program was created in recognition that the relationships built among network members last beyond an individual’s tenure at the NNIP Partner organization. NNIP’s 2023 strategic planning process identified our more than 70 alumni as a less-acknowledged channel of network influence and a group that the network should engage more strategically.  

About the NNIP Alumni Program 

Launched in 2012, the purpose of the Alumni Program is to recognize past individual contributions and broaden the expertise available to the partnership. It consists of people who had previously affiliated with the network, either at a partner organization or through the Urban Institute, and who have moved on to other organizations or retired but wish to continue to stay connected. Since the beginning, the network has added an annual average of six alumni. Joining the program allows members to participate in the partner-only listserve and attend NNIP’s in-person and virtual events.    

Life after NNIP 

The Alumni Program allows the network to retain the insights of 72 people who have moved on to other positions. The most recent analysis of this group (March 2024) shows they come from 28 cities in 19 states and are benefiting from and contributing to NNIP knowledge. More than half of the alumni joined more than 5 years ago, demonstrating people’s long-lasting attachment to the network (alumni are asked to renew their commitment every two years).

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) have moved on to another nonprofit organization, while more than one-fifth are engaged in independent consulting (21 percent), most still in the social sector space. Local government and other corporations each account for 14 percent of alumni job locations. Alumni are less likely to be working at educational institutions (10 percent) and less than 5 percent are currently employed in state or federal government, or in foundations. Retirees or unaffiliated alumni account for less than 10 percent of the total.   

Their continued engagement allows broader access to experience that contributes to addressing shared questions or problems of current NNIP partners. They hold positions of influence in places like the mayor’s office, City and County government, libraries, the Urban Institute or the Federal Reserve, colleges and universities, and regional and national philanthropic organizations. They have substantive expertise in a range of fields including housing, child poverty, land trusts, climate policy, food policy, data science, digital inclusion, and health. They have the ability and the desire to broaden and spread the knowledge, culture, and values of NNIP. 

Growing the Program 

NNIP is taking steps to more consistently and productively engage alumni as part of its 2024-2026 strategic plan, including an upcoming survey to document their current experiences and interest in future participation. We are also launching a tailored communications strategy for alumni and recruiting them for periodic webinars to share their expertise with the network. NNIP intends to track progress in increasing the size of the program as well as depth and breadth of engagement.