The world of philanthropy can seem mysterious and inaccessible to many, but a unique partnership between Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Columbia Business School's Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, and Lever for Change is bringing it into the classroom. MBA students are applying their learning to award over $100,000 to a nonprofit organization, gaining real-world experience in philanthropy and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact.
The six-week course, led by Melissa Berman, founding President and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, exposes students to the inner workings of philanthropy and its potential to address social, economic, and environmental needs. Featuring guest presenters from leading foundations and organizations, including our very own Cecilia Conrad, the course emphasizes the importance of understanding the impact of philanthropy and how it can drive transformative change.
Using the knowledge and skills gained from the course, students analyze potential contenders for global competition prizes managed by Lever for Change, weighing projects on a 10-point scale. The winning proposal is chosen by the class and receives the support of the students to award the prize. This hands-on approach to philanthropy provides students with a unique opportunity to make a real-world impact while gaining insight into the potential of a career centered on social impact.