John Kurnick“At the core, Ignite Louisville and the community service challenge strive to achieve what we at YUM! Brands do on a daily basis. We are about building people capability, and through the new partnership, we have the ability to build community capability.”
John Kurnick, chief people officer, KFC US.

About the Challenge

Yum! IGNITES Louisville ChallengeThe Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge is the service learning component of the program which pairs Ignite Louisville teams with a local nonprofit to design and execute a project. In return, Ignite Louisville participants gain experience in community leadership, board involvement and teamwork. At the end of the program year, the teams present their projects to a panel of esteemed leaders who choose a winner.

Since its inception in 2004, Ignite Louisville participants have worked on over 100 projects for area nonprofits to plan, execute and sustain new strategies for success.

In July 2013, the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge received a national award for “Excellence in Innovation” from the Association of Leadership Programs.

Quick links:

See the six nonprofits who are currently working with Ignite Louisville teams

See the results of the Fall 2017 Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge

Nonprofits, learn about about partnering with an Ignite Louisville or Encore Louisville team

  • “When I think of where we were before we met, and where we are now, it makes me dizzy thinking of the heights we have reached. Each one of you has touched my heart, mind and spirit with your talents, enthusiasm and incredible drive.”
    Karyn Moskowitz, New Roots

  • “Our team brought enthusiasm, perseverance and commitment to excellence. What they developed not only exceeded our expectations, but has already had an immediate impact with unlimited potential.”
    Jennifer Hancock, Volunteers of America

  • From the time we applied for an Ignite team there was a spark in our organization that grew when we met them and went into a full blaze when they presented to us our new strategic plan for the next three years! The Ignite team has a synergy that worked very well in their planning and execution of their processes to help us look at all parts of our nonprofit.
    David Benson – Dogs Helping Heroes

  • “Team NewStart approached us with an open mind and a great deal of energy – they not only improved the way our organization communicates, but built our long-term capacity and potential for growth.”   Caitlin Willenbrink – Bank on Louisville

  • “Our Ignite Louisville team successfully kick-started our efforts in engaging young professionals by launching the ‘Making History’ community. They provided us with the nucleus of what we envision developing into a vibrant base of long term support.”  Kevin Guthrie – Frazier History Museum



In a recent survey, partner organizations stated that Ignite Louisville teams:

  • Remarkably improved the productivity of operations.
  • Increased the organization’s outreach in the community.
  • Improved the strategic focus of the organization.

The Ignite Louisville teams invest an average of over 500 hours in each of their partner organizations. The average value of each team’s work is over $35,000 in the most recent class and many Ignite Louisville graduates have joined the boards of directors of their adopted nonprofit, helping to accelerate a generational change in leadership.

In addition, 97% of Ignite Louisville program graduates reported civic engagement following program participation – 30% give 1-3 hours, 40% give 4-9 hours and 25% volunteer more than 10 hours a month.

An award-winning program

The Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge recently received a national award for Excellence in Innovation from the Association of Leadership Programs. The program also received the Center for Nonprofit Excellence’s Pyramid Award for the Art of Collaboration.

How nonprofits can get involved

If your nonprofit could benefit from the talents and expertise of a team of young professionals, consider submitting a project proposal for the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge.

See the list of non-profit organizations who have partnered with Ignite Louisville teams.

FAQ regarding submitting a proposal to work with Leadership Louisville Center teams in either Ignite Louisville or Encore Louisville

For more information, contact Jo Lloyd-Triplett at (502) 561-0458 or email.