COLLEGE PARK, Md., Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Social Value Creation at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business is expanding its Grassroots.org Social Venture Consulting Program in partnership with Grassroots.org, an organization that provides free technologies and resources to nonprofits. The innovative experiential learning program matches MBA students with nonprofit organizations around the country for semester-long consulting projects. Make Change! Trust provided a $120,000 grant to expand the program and the Center for Social Value Creation is inviting students nationwide to participate.
Since 2006, the competitive program has served more than 75 organizations and involved nearly 300 students, providing MBAs with practical consulting experience and the opportunity to give back to their community. Make Change! Trust has supported the program since its inception.
"This program provides a valuable service to nonprofits around the country and gives our students the hands-on experience coming up with innovative solutions to solving social issues," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "This type of experiential learning is what all MBA students need to develop as the next generation of leaders. We're happy we can help provide this beyond Smith to students around the nation."
The consulting projects range from creating marketing campaigns, to designing donor outreach, to building financial models. U.S. nonprofits served by Grassroots.org apply to the program each semester to receive the consulting work from MBA student teams at no charge. Currently, the popular program can only serve about 10 percent of nonprofits that apply, but Make Change! Trust hopes that number will increase with the expansion of the program. The trust and the Center for Social Value Creation share the goal to provide more nonprofit organizations with mission-critical project work while providing a skills-based volunteer opportunity to more MBAs across the country.
"We are thrilled to be able to provide a greater number of nonprofits with capacity-building expertise," said Melissa Carrier, executive director of the Center for Social Value Creation. "We've had tremendous success with our students and this program and we're excited to replicate that success with MBAs at other schools."
Smith's Center for Social Value Creation and Grassroots.org will support other business schools that apply to take part in the program with a database of projects to match with student consulting groups, templates for successful outcomes, and a knowledge toolkit. The center will also provide ongoing advising to participants, much in the way center staff and faculty currently advise Smith student teams. Each consulting project is managed and completed by a group of three to five students.
The Grassroots.org Social Venture Consulting Program fulfills one of the main missions of the Center for Social Value Creation, which was launched in September 2009 to engage students in courses and experiential learning programs to enable them to become global leaders who understand how to use business as a vehicle for both economic prosperity and transformative social change. The center also supports faculty research in related areas. More information about the center is available at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/svc/.
About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, executive MS, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia. More information is available at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/.
Grassroots.org serves as a catalyst for positive social change by leveraging modern technologies and best business practices. Grassroots.org provides nonprofit organizations with free valuable technologies and resources to increase their efficiency and productivity. Grassroots.org's goal is to adopt 10,000 nonprofit members, and to provide each of them with an average of $10,000 per year worth of services at no charge (for a total savings of $100 million per year!). Today Grassroots.org offers nonprofits free technology and business services available through its "Nonprofit Toolbox" and currently serves more than 3,500 nonprofits worldwide! See http://grassroots.org
About Make Change! Trust
Make Change! Trust is a charitable fund developed by Internet entrepreneurs and philanthropists devoted to using technology to improve the world. MC!T makes donations to nonprofit organizations that are empowering other nonprofits and the underserved through innovative uses of technology. MC!T has donated more than a million of dollar to technology-focused organizations serving others, and directly to nonprofits fighting disease, homelessness, poverty, and supporting other humanitarian causes. Learn more at http://www.makechangetrust.org
Contact: Carrie Handwerker, 301-405-5833, [email protected]
SOURCE Robert H. Smith School of Business