Business Week Profiles Public & Nonprofit Management Program

in PNP, Social Impact
February 15th, 2012

From the Article “Philanthropy Gains Eager Followers in B-Schools”

In a recent article, Business Week online spotlights Boston University’s Public and & Nonprofit Management Program (PNP) and the in-depth exposure to philanthropy that it provides MBA students.

Noting that “MBA and undergraduate courses on philanthropy are proliferating as interest grows among a generation of B-school idealists,” journalist Alison Damast reports,

Today, dozens of MBA and undergraduate programs teach philanthropy as an academic subject, exposing students to both the art and science of giving. Some schools—including Stanford, Columbia Business School, and the Boston University School of Management—teach entire courses focused solely on the topic, while others weave philanthropy into the curriculum of social-enterprise courses….

“This is a generation used to being hands-on,” McCormack says. “They want to have a direct impact.”

MBA students are…eager to become better-educated, savvier philanthropists, says Kristen McCormack, faculty director of the Public & Non-Profit Management program at the Boston University School of Management, where she has been teaching a course on the topic for the last decade. During the last four years, a group of students in the course have been charged with the task of giving away $10,000 to a local charity….This year’s class decided to give all its money to a group called Medicine Wheel Productions in South Boston, a nonprofit that works with troubled youth via public art projects.

“They need to figure out ‘how much good can I do with this money,’” McCormack says. “It is a very strategic kind of question that involves their business skills.”

In the last few years, interest in philanthropy and fundraising classes has grown as more business schools emphasize ethics and corporate responsibility in the curriculum, McCormack notes. As a result, more students are interested in serving on the boards of directors of nonprofit groups and in giving away a portion of income to charitable organizations. At the same time, the number of new family foundations is on the rise, she said, as more students want to learn how to make an impact with their money. “This is a generation used to being hands-on,” McCormack says. “They want to have a direct impact.”

Read full article at Business Week online.