Tag: Making a Difference

MBAs and Philanthropy – Making the Lives of Others Better

Typically, MBA students and alumni are introduced to philanthropy in either of three ways. One is when an alumnus makes a significant gift to the university and the act is highly publicized. Another is when the graduating class raises money that is then gifted to the MBA program in the class’s name. Finally, almost all graduates receive that annual letter or phone call asking them to support the annual fund-raising campaign by making a donation. While these activities serve a very useful purpose, they unfortunately target individuals who are paying large amounts of money toward tuition and fees or are trying to pay off student loans incurred while attending the program. Introductions of this nature do little to foster a spirit of helping to make the lives of others better which is what philanthropy is all about. Nor do they help establish a habit of giving. I believe an alternative approach is needed—one that engages MBA students and alumni in a way that adds very little financial pressure to their already stressed financial situations and allows them to see how their efforts can help make the lives of others better. Let me share with you a recent experience of mine to describe what I believe could be a viable alternative.