Impact Report No. 1: GoCorps

Impact Report No. 1: GoCorps





Paul Van Der Werf, E. D.


GoCorps has partnered with 15 of the leading mission-sending organizations to develop 12 different tracks for graduates who are interested in serving two years abroad before launching into a career or graduate school. It is designed for many Christian students who are not planning the typical missionary path with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) or Youth with a Mission.

The organization’s broad goal is to help Christians in their 20s make service abroad part of their life plan. Less than 1 percent serve off-shore.

GoCorps offers a convenient and expedient single application through their website and then matches graduates with the 15 mission agencies. GoCorps sent its first group of graduates in 2010.

One key advantage for GoCorps compared with the traditional agencies is that they can move a student from application to field service in six months. That includes raising support ($2,500/month) in a period of 12 weeks compared to the 2 years it takes in most mission organizations.

One incentive built into the GoCorps funding program is $5,000 to pay down student loans. While abroad the monthly support covers minimum payments on the loans. GoCorps puts up a $2,500 and the monthly support includes $100 per month toward loans.


Executive Director Paul Van Der Werf sought Barnabas Partners’ help in figuring out how to scale the program to drive down the cost of recruiting college graduates and to increase the number of participants.


Partners participating included: Kim Pace (facilitator) and Bob Garrett (coach).

The No. 1 recommendation is to define the value proposition to stakeholders that include both graduating students and their parents. Paul will focus on this step, starting with his thoughts and then interviewing senior leaders (board, staff) and key alumni. He will then test the key messages, circle back to the leadership team to refine them and then create the message across its platforms.

The other recommendations were to: approach a Christian college to help develop the marketing plan to reach out to students and parents; and draft a consistent elevator speech using the new key messages.


Paul was excited to share a few exciting updates from the work that the Barnabas Group did with GoCorps. The time and energy spent in revisiting messaging and website is proving to be really helpful! Here’s some of what they’ve done toward resolving their Big Question:

In Paul Van Der Werf’s words:

“When we ended the process with Barnabas, I thought our new elevator pitch was a huge step forward, but we still didn’t have a first line to it that I thought helped create the ‘why’ of what we’re doing, and we didn’t have a really good simple compelling one-liner. About 3 weeks ago, we were able to do some more work on it and we came up with what I think is a really good one-liner to describe what we do and a good opening ‘why’ to our elevator pitch. I’ve copied it below. Getting this one-liner and elevator pitch finalized in a version that me and the team are excited about is a HUGE answer to prayer!”

This is the new Mission Statement: GoCorps helps Christians invest the first two years of their career in global service.

We believe the great commission was never intended to be left only to traditional missionaries and that meeting the deepest needs of our world today is not going to happen in our spare time or with only our spare change. It’s going to take going beyond ordinary.

So, we invite young adults out of their comfort zones into challenging projects in some of the hardest places globally, ensuring they’re trained and mentored, and streamlining the process of getting them there.

We offer two-year global service apprenticeships through carefully vetted Christian non-profits unleashing young adults to use their degree, passions and skillsets to bring the gospel to those with the least access and greatest need.

The result: Our Goers receive work experience that sets them apart in the global marketplace. Our Goers make a real impact spiritually and physically in the local community where they serve. Our Goers transition from their two-year placement with a clearer understanding of their calling and vocation, and they are equipped and inspired to live missionally wherever their journey takes them.