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The iCats Program: Sharing professional knowledge with philanthropic organizations

What is the iCats Program?
The iCats Program was designed to bridge the gap between philanthropic organizations and social enterprises in need of professional know-how and resources, and business professionals with the desire to apply their knowledge and experience to benefit the social sector, thus acting as “impact catalysts”. This is how the name iCats was inspired.
The program acts as a platform where the individual skills and availability of iCats are matched with open positions in selected philanthropic organizations and social enterprises.
The iCats Program was started by LGT Venture Philanthropy in 2007 to strengthen the intellectual capital provided to its portfolio organizations, alongside financial and social capital. In 2009, a number of trusted partners joined the initiative to leverage the existing resources and increase the positive impact also in their portfolio organizations.

Who are iCats?
iCats are professionals from all over the world with diverse professional backgrounds who are willing to share their business expertise with carefully selected philanthropic organizations and social enterprises. For participation in the program, iCats have to bring at least two years of relevant work experience. The iCats Program allows for a flexible commitment of anywhere from a few days to one year, by means of professional mentoring, training, consulting, implementation support, either through a specified timeframe or a one-year fellowship.

How can I become an iCat?
Fellowship positions are posted once a year and have a fixed application deadline. Fellows are working with LGT Venture Philanthropy’s portfolio organizations for 11 months on the ground. LGT Venture Philanthropy selects a restricted number out of the best fellow candidates each year. The selected fellows participate in a four-day induction training in January 2011 in Switzerland. A monthly mentoring will be conducted to support the Fellow. Mentoring includes support for fellowship goal management, help if Fellow experiences difficulties with the local team or the culture, and also input to future career planning. Application deadline: July 23, 2010

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