From March 21-23 in Dublin, Ireland, 170 ICF volunteers from around the world gathered to meet, share, celebrate, and learn from one another. The ICF Foundation was present, leading conversations on accelerating and amplifying social progress through coaching. We asked the question “What is coaching’s greatest possibility for humanity and the planet?” Coach leaders shared insights for many different areas coaching could be applied to, with a strong focus on education. Chapter leaders were excited to explore the potential of coaching for social progress and become more involved with Foundation programs like the Ignite Initiative. We also presented the 2018 Gift of Coaching Awards to three incredible chapters who have established pro bono coaching initiatives in their communities. What follows is details on the Gift of Coaching Awards and the winners’ initiatives.


The ICF Foundation’s Gift of Coaching Awards program recognizes ICF Chapters with impactful pro bono coaching initiatives that make a difference in their local communities. A panel of volunteer judges scored the applicants according to the following criteria: alignment with the nonprofit partner’s mission and vision, governance, learnings, and measurable outcomes that demonstrate participant value and positive community impact.

“We are inspired by stories of pro bono coaching shared by our ICF Chapters. Coaching is like a pebble falling on a still lake. The ripples of positive effect spread on and on. This ripple effect in social development organizations is remarkable. It’s changing the world. We are proud to celebrate and share social impact coaching stories through the Gift of Coaching Awards,” ICF Foundation Board of Trustees President Morel Fourman said.

ICF Toronto received the 2018 Gift of Coaching Portfolio Award for its demonstrated success in creating a portfolio of impactful pro bono coaching initiatives and its ongoing commitment to the Foundation’s ideals and values.

ICF Toronto’s Coach Connect initiative connects chapter members with local nonprofit and volunteer causes that align with their values. In Coach Connect’s inaugural year, the chapter partnered with Up with Women, which exists to help women break the cycle of poverty and homelessness; Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, which provides support and shelter for women and children escaping violence; Bethell Hospice, which supports individuals with life-limiting illnesses and their families by providing hospice and palliative care; and Tropicana Community Services, which provides youth, newcomers, people of Black and Caribbean heritage, and others in need with opportunities and alternatives that lead to success and positive life change.

ICF Australasia received the 2018 Gift of Coaching Single Initiative Award for its partnership with the University of Queensland Business School Employability Team. More than 30 ICF Australasia members coached students as they prepared for the job market. The coaching program with ICF Australasia enhanced the students’ reflective practices and provided them with another life experience to draw from. Every student who responded to the post-program survey indicated that they would partner with a coach again if offered the opportunity.

ICF United Arab Emirates earned a 2018 Gift of Coaching Honorable Mention in the Single Initiative category for its partnership with the Gulf Indian High School (GIHS) in Dubai. In May 2017, the chapter partnered with GIHS to design and deliver an eight-week group coaching program to 42 students in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades with learning difficulties. Self-assessments showed that, as a result of coaching, students’ self-perception ratings increased by 25 percent. They also reported feeling better about themselves and their abilities.


Are you interested in establishing a culture of pro bono coaching in your communities? You can access our Pro Bono Program Toolkit here. Please reach out to to learn more and get involved.

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