Launch of Impact Marketing and Fundraising Fellowship

April 4, 2022

The University of Illinois College of Media’s Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology and Covalent announced a first-of-its-kind summer fellowship for UIUC students interested in building skills in social impact, digital marketing and nonprofit fundraising.

The Impact Marketing and Fundraising Fellowship (IMFF) is a part-time, virtual fellowship that pairs talented students with Chicagoland, Black-led nonprofits where they will spend 10 weeks in a client-facing role and build a fundraising strategy and campaign for an important cause. The program, which runs from June 13 through August 19, is now accepting applications for students, nonprofits and mentors.

“The Impact Marketing and Fundraising Fellowship is an opportunity for students to build both the skills necessary to land a full-time job after college and develop the confidence necessary to make that transition seamless.“ said Mike Yao, Head of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising and principal investigator of the Brand Hub. “This fellowship is for any student looking to stand out amidst the competitive applicant pool for future internships or jobs.”

Students will begin the fellowship with a two-week training program; developing skills in digital marketing, consulting, brand strategy, client communications, nonprofit fundraising and personal branding while networking and hearing from industry experts. In the next eight weeks, they will be paired with a mentor in the social impact sector and another student to develop and execute a fundraising strategy during Black Philanthropy Month in August.

The Brand Hub is partnering with Covalent, a nonprofit whose mission is to create the next generation of transformative, mission-driven leaders while giving back to communities, to run the program. Through previous fellowships, Covalent has trained over 110 students, supported over 70 small businesses and nonprofits, and engaged nearly 140 mentors who wanted to help students find job opportunities.

“Now, more than ever, we’re seeing students hungry to explore careers that are aligned with social good,” said CEO and co-founder of Covalent and College of Media JOUR ‘18 Alumni Walker Post. “We’re here to show them that these opportunities exist and we’ll open the door for them.”

Students, nonprofits and mentors interested in applying to the program can submit an application until May 9. Those who are interested in donating to fund the program, financially sponsoring the students or becoming a corporate sponsor can get started here or contact Susan Muirhead, Visiting Associate Director of the Brand Hub, at to learn more.

About Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology

The Hub for Brand Innovation and Advertising Technology, or the “Brand Hub”, creates multidisciplinary collaborations between students, faculty, brands and innovators. The Brand Hub integrates resources for student learning, faculty research, industry partnership and community engagement. The Brand Hub is a touchpoint for excellence in data-driven strategic brand communication and digital promotion.

About Covalent

Covalent connects students passionate about strengthening communities with professional mentors to improve small businesses and nonprofits’ digital marketing and fundraising needs. By leveraging a rapidly growing network of talented undergraduate students and experienced professionals eager to give back, Covalent’s clients receive pro bono support needed to adapt and grow in the digital-first world.

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