April 2021 Newsletter

Anti-Racism and Racial Justice

Business+Impact stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, and the Ross School of Business AABA in their call to action to #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate. We condemn all acts of hate, racial violence, xenophobia, and misogyny, including recent anti-Asian and anti-Black violence. At Business + Impact, we are committed to the work of dismantling the structures of systemic racism, achieving racial justice in America, and building an equitable and sustainable future for all. Below are links to learn more and find out how you can support the APPI community.

Business+Impact also recognizes the pain and injustice of recent acts of police violence against people of color, namely Daunte Write and Adam Toledo, especially within the context of the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial. We stand against all systemic racism, selective enforcement, and police brutality against Black and brown people, and we support the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Racial Justice Resources

 

+Impact Studio Update

Applebaum Family Philanthropy Gift

Business+Impact has received more than $1 million from the Applebaum Family Philanthropy to establish the Business+Impact Experiences and Innovation Program at Michigan Ross. This new program will allow the school to enhance and expand its impact and design offerings, including the creation of a permanent endowment fund for need-based internships and scholarships to Business+Impact students. The new program will support approximately 20 students per year through the +Impact Studio at Michigan Ross. Students chosen as Applebaum Impact Design Fellows will develop and test student-led ideas from the award-winning +Impact Studio course and student social innovators around campus, and Applebaum Impact Design Interns will engage in summer internships in connection with the +Impact Studio. Additionally, the gift provides Business+Impact with funding for a range of impact and design activities, such as a new Applebaum Innovator-in-Residence, prototype development for models of social impact, community outreach, research, and more.

Read About the Gift

 


Stories from the +Impact Studio

The +Impact Studio Course‘s multi-year partnership with BlueConduit, a impact company co-founded by Ross professor Eric Schwartz to use data and machine learning for lead service line identification and removal, has been a collaboration success story, and the company has received exciting coverage from a variety of media outlets:

+Impact Studio course student, Applebaum Impact Design Fellow, and Founder Justin Woods (MBA/MSW 21) has spent the past year supporting racial justice through work with the Fellows team on development of the Racial Equity Pledge prototype, and building his social enterprise, EQuity. In his post, “Advancing My Social Impact and Racial Equity Work Through the +Impact Studio,” Justin describes how the +Impact Studio was at the intersection of both his professional and personal goals.

New Scholarship Essay Competition

EQuity is hosting a scholarship essay competition through May 28. You can learn more about the story behind the competition, donate to the scholarship fund, and sign up to be in the first of EQuity’s immersive course.

Read More Stories


Michigan Ross Announces New Student Loan Repayment Program For Full-Time MBA Grads Pursuing Social Impact Careers

Through the Impact Advantage Program, alumni of the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA Program, beginning with the graduating class of May 2021, who pursue a career in the public or nonprofit sectors can apply for student loan repayment assistance. For those graduates accepted into the program, Impact Advantage will cover a portion of their Ross-related loan obligations — $7,500 per year for five years — while they are employed full-time at a social impact organization.

Read More

Board Fellowship Info Session for Nonprofits


Wed, May 19 @ Noon ET
Online

Are you a nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan that is curious about the Board Fellowship program? Graduate student Fellows serve as non-voting board members and complete a strategic project that can provide valuable capacity in areas such as strategic plan implementation, sustainability strategies, business plans, and dashboards. This session provides an overview for prospective organizations interested in participating during the 2021-22 academic year, and features insights from nonprofit leaders currently participating. 

Learn more and RSVP


New Undergrad Journal of Sustainability Seeks Leadership Team Members

The goal of UJS at U-M is to promote undergraduate research related to the field of Sustainability. By reviewing and publishing articles from students across campus, UJS provides an incentive for students to not only conduct sustainability-focused research, but also use their research to contribute to the academic field. The organization is looking to recruit like-minded individuals for its founding team. 

Interest Form

Ross Event Highlights:


Ross Alumni: Environment and Sustainability Discussion with Andy Hoffman
Thurs, Apr. 22 @ 6 pm ET
Online


CPO: Positive Business Conference
Thurs and Fri, May 13-14
Online

SPOTLIGHT

Sarita Nayyar (MBA ’87), Managing Board Member at the World Economic Forum

Sarita Nayyar is a member of the Managing Board at the World Economic Forum, who heads strategic partnerships with partners at Board and C-suite levels, for the purpose of improving the state of the world. She led the international expansion of the global Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) network. The network seeks to rapidly achieve global scope and scale in establishing a new operating system for international technology governance and cooperation. Prior to this work, Ms. Nayyar worked with Mondelez International in the Post Cereals Division. Find out how she lived the credo “Business can be a force for good,” and learn how she made the transition from food manufacturing to a major public-private international organization.

READ MORE



A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus


The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 

IMPACT GATEWAY

At the University:

 

OFFICE FOR HEALTH EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Making Space for Belonging Through Racial Healing

Thurs, Apr. 29 @ 3-5 pm ET
Online

At this unique virtual event, Sonya Jacobs, Chief Organizational Learning Officer for Michigan Medicine will welcome Professor Rhonda V. Magee from the University of San Francisco School of Law to discuss mindfulness-based transformational education’s public health imperative with regard to racial healing. This will be followed by a Healing panel discussion and DEI Advocate Awards.

Info and Registration

 


In the Impact Community:

Public Allies

Apply Now

Public Allies Metro Detroit is a program of the U of M-Dearborn, and a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. The program is made possible through funding of the Corporation for National and the Community Service, and the Michigan Community Service Commission. Apply now for fall opportunities.

Application info


You Can’t Change Systems Without Advocacy

Tues, May 11 @ TBA
Online

This Upswell Pop-Up will explore the mechanics of effective advocacy. With transformative change within reach, we’ll learn with some of the most influential advocates about what our ongoing crises have taught us – and how we can (and must) use collective action to move quickly toward a healthier and more equitable future.

More info and Registration


D Prize

Early Submission Date:
Sun, May 16 @ Midnight PT

The world has already invented ways to end poverty, yet the best interventions are not being distributed at mass-scale. Can you design a business or NGO that addresses subjects from education to health access? If selected, you’ll be awarded up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

Info and Application


Climate Leadership Conference

Tues, May 25 @ 12:30 – 5 pm ET
Online

As 2021 kicks off a decade of climate transformation, the virtual Climate Leadership Exchange is your opportunity to engage and connect with North America’s most influential community of climate leaders from business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. The CL Conference will feature top-notch intelligence, peer-to-peer learning, and connections.

Registration info


CEMEX-TEC Awards and Bootcamps

Submit by May 31

The CEMEX-TEC Award has 4 global categories, within which you can participate by registering your project. Social entrepreneurship projects must have at least one year of implementation and generate a systemic change. Projects in sustainable transformation of communities should focus on postgraduate students. Community-based and social transformation projects that have at least one year of implementation form the third group. Collaborative action projects are focused on organizations that work through intersectoral alliances, involving at least 3 sectors of society.

Submission info


All images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

March 2021 Newsletter

Impact Internship Funding – Round Two Application

Application Due:
Fri, Apr. 16 @ Noon ET


Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy. The application deadline is Friday, April 16 by Noon ET. Award decisions will be made based on consideration of the position and organization’s impact, and the quality of the application.

Additionally, the newly established Gordon Impact Entrepreneurship Fund provides support for BBA or MBA student internships with ventures or funders seeking to create societal impact. Students may be a founder or pursuing an internship with an impact-focused startup, growth phase venture, or venture capital firm. Qualifying organizations have a social and/or environmental mission and show demonstrated commitment to generating systemic solutions and achieving long-term societal impact. Students may apply through the Business+Impact Summer Internship Fund application process.

APPLY NOW


Parcel Health Wins the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge — Seigle Impact Track


We’re excited to share that the winner of the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track is Parcel Health – (Melinda Su En Lee (PharmD ’21) and Victor Le (PhD ’21)). Parcel Health is a company that aims to disrupt the current plastic prescription bottle industry by innovating a 100% curbside-recyclable solution. The Seigle Impact Track competition, co-sponsored by the Zell Lurie InstituteBusiness+Impact, and the Erb Institute, began in November with over 50 teams. Seven semi-finalists competed on Fri, Jan. 29 for the four finalist spots in the Seigle finals competition. Learn about all of the finalists:

  • CLOVO Brand – sustainable fashion tights
  • EQuity – training to advance racial justice
  • Sustainium – nuclear waste recycled for clean water

READ MORE


Michigan Impact Investing Symposium


Sat, Mar. 20 @ 10 am
Online

Business+Impact is co-sponsoring the Michigan Impact Investing Symposium (MIIS), an annual conference that allows attendees to learn more about the impact investing space from distinguished members of the community and gives participants an opportunity to explore investments that provide financial and social returns through an optional pitch competition. Speakers from Boston Consulting Group, Citi Bank, Total Impact Capital, Orrick, and more will speak on the theme of Restorative Investing.

REGISTER HERE


SOCIAL ENTERPRISE SPOTLIGHT

Reclaiming the Media Narrative for Arab and Muslim Americans

Business+Impact is introducing a new series on U-M alumni who have created social enterprises and are building their businesses after graduation. For our inaugural spotlight, we are shining the light on Thawra, a multimedia content provider for the Arab and Muslim communities whose work has been recognized by Poets & Quants and ABC’s Nightline.

Last year, in the Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track, Yasmeen Kadouh (U-M Dearborn BA ’17) and Rima Fadlallah (Ross MBA ’20) introduced their business to the world as For Dearborn, featuring the subbrand Dearborn Girl, and they became the runner up in the track competition. Their business has kept the Dearborn Girl division and added several others, but their purpose remains the same: to create a space for Arab and/or Muslim Americans (AMAs) to self-actualize and thrive through digital media, programming, fashion and philanthropy.

We reached out to Ms. Kadouh and Ms.Fadlallah for an update, and you can learn about how you can support their work and access membership, courses, workshops, and events, merchandise, and more!

READ MORE

DNEP Accounting Consulting Internship


Apply by
Thurs, Apr. 1

DNEP Free Accounting is seeking a student consultant for the summer of 2021 with possible extension into the 2021-2022 academic year. In this position,
the student will work closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners (virtually) in Detroit, providing assistance in areas of accounting, COVID relief, and other business administration.

Application Here

 


 

How Nonprofit Organizations Are Innovating and Adapting Through a Time of Crisis

Each year, the University of Michigan Board Fellowship Program hosts a public forum in the form of a panel discussion with representatives from local nonprofit organizations. On Tues, Feb. 23, the forum addressed how nonprofits have been pivoting to address COVID-19 challenges and the light shone on inequities in society.

Watch Here

 

Ross Event Highlights:


Ross Alumni: Ten Years After the Affordable Care Act: Success and Failures
Thurs, Mar. 18 @ 1 pm ET
Online


ZLI: Five Ideas Workshop
Fri, Mar. 19 @ 10 am – Noon ET
Online


Ross B&S: Overcoming Systemic Barriers to Entrepreneurship
Fri, Mar. 26 @ Noon ET
Online


PTMBA: Women, the Workforce, and the MBA
Wed, Mar. 31 @ 8 pm ET
Online



A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus


The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 

IMPACT GATEWAY

At the University:

 

STUDENT SUSTAINABILITY COALITION

Campus Sustainability Positions in the Fall

Apply by
Sun, Mar. 21 @ 11:59 pm

Are you a U-M Ann Arbor student who is passionate about campus sustainability? Apply to join the Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC), a group of student leaders working to create a mutually defined common agenda and shared vision that unifies campus-wide student sustainability efforts! There are multiple positions available. All applicants must be U-M Ann Arbor undergraduate or graduate students.

Apply Here

 

 


PROBLEM SOLVING INITIATIVE

Fall Courses Registration

Non-Law Graduate and Professional Students Register by Tues, Mar. 30

Law Students Register by Wed, Apr. 7

The Law School’s Problem Solving Initiative classes are open to all U-M graduate and professional students. Students in PSI classes lend their expertise and skills to a multidisciplinary team, develop creative problem solving tools, conduct research on, and engage in, advancing solutions to real-world challenges.  Courses in Fall 2021 include:

Register Here


LSA

Semester in Detroit

Application Deadline
Wed, Mar. 31

The fall program is open to students from UM-Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn, and Grand Valley State University. Students are in classes for 8-11 hours per week (fall students can choose between one or both SiD electives) and intern for 16 hours per week. You can earn up to 18 credits toward your U-M degree and intern with community-based organizations.

More Info


CEW+

Scholarships Available for 2021-22 Academic Year

Application Deadline
Wed, Apr. 1

The Center for the Education of Women Scholarship Program, which today serves women and underserved students, was established in 1970 to honor the academic performance and potential of women whose education has been interrupted and to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the admission of women to the University of Michigan.

More Info on CEW+ Scholarships

 

 


In the Impact Community:

 

Job Opportunities with Prime Coalition


Apply by March 22

Prime Coalition partners with mission-aligned investors to support extraordinary companies that combat climate change, have a high likelihood of achieving commercial success, and are in need of financial support to scale. Prime spent its first 6 years building a world class investment team, and now they have the privilege of expanding their nonprofit program team. Two job opportunities have opened up – applications are due 3/22.

  • Director of Impact – Cambridge, MA – elevating Prime’s focus on impact measurement and management
  • Partnerships Associate – San Fran, CA – stewarding relationships w courageous philanthropic partners

Public Allies


Apply Now

Public Allies Metro Detroit is a program of the U of M-Dearborn, and a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. The program is made possible through funding of the Corporation for National and the Community Service and Michigan Community Service Commission. Apply now for fall opportunities.

Application info


American Express NGen Fellows Program


Application Deadline: Sun, Mar. 21

The American Express NGen Fellows program, part of the American Express Leadership Academy, offers a transformative opportunity for changemakers, age 40 and under, to strengthen their leadership capacity, hone their change-making skills, and build connections with some of the social sector’s most influential leaders. Every year the NGen Fellows program selects 12 individuals to participate in a nine-month leadership development program.

Application info


The Henry Ford to Host Social Venture Challenge

Online Info Sessions:
Thurs, Mar. 18 & 25 @ 6:30 pm


Application Deadline: Thurs, Mar. 25
Competition: Apr. 8-9

Are you an undergraduate student looking to make an impact in your community today? Apply for the Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge (SVC)!  The Resolution Project is partnering with Henry Ford College on April 8-9th, 2021 to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to virtually pitch their ideas for change for the chance to win a Resolution Fellowship.  Pitch your idea and join the Resolution Fellow community of more than 500 Fellows in 81 countries.  Check out this video to see what happened in the 2020 SVC at Henry Ford College.

More info


Halcyon Incubator Fall 2021 Fellowship Application


Application Deadline
Fri, Apr. 9

The application to join Halcyon Incubator’s 14th Cohort next fall is now open! Fellows receive five months rent-free housing in D.C., a $10,000 stipend, and access to our community of social entrepreneurs, mentors, advisors, investors, and supporters.

Application info


All images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

Pivoting During a Pandemic: How Nonprofit Organizations Are Innovating and Adapting Through a Time of Crisis

Each year, the University of Michigan Board Fellowship Program hosts a public forum in the form of a panel discussion with representatives from local nonprofit organizations. This year, the theme of the forum is “Pivoting During a Pandemic: How Nonprofit Organizations Have Innovated and Adapted During a Time of Crisis.” The COVID-19 pandemic has created new realities and challenges while deepening and exposing existing inequities. Within the nonprofit sector these impacts have been felt widely and profoundly. Join us as our panelists discuss questions such as: How has the pandemic impacted their organizations, and how has the board of directors pivoted to adapt to this crisis? What challenges and opportunities have organizations encountered and how did they approach them? How has the organization’s funding model and operational model transformed? How have staff and board members’ duties and responsibilities changed since the onset of the pandemic? What has been their most successful pivot? How have funders pivoted to meet community needs and develop new models of collaboration?

The following panelists will participate in the discussion:

  • Pam Smith, President & CEO of the United Way of Washtenaw County
  • Darryl L. Johnson, Executive Director of Mentor2Youth
  • Ebon Wilkins, Board Member for North Star Reach
  • Tim Carter, Board Member for Ten Thousand Villages of Huron Valley

Registration Requiredhttps://umich.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcocOygrDotGdKkWEaSNUde_Ru51oa3uSva 

October 2020 Newsletter

Business+Impact Announces the 2020-21 Board Fellows and Nonprofit Partners

Welcome to our 2020-21 Board Fellowship participants! This year’s Board Fellowship Program brings together 17 partner organizations and 22 students from seven U-M schools. The Fellows will serve on the governing boards of these partner organizations for the academic year.

READ MORE


Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Is Calling all Student Social/Environmental Ventures


Info Session
Mon, Oct. 19, 4-5 pm
Online

Application Deadline: Coming Soon!

Do you have an idea for a mission-driven business? Are you developing a social venture or interested in sustainability?

Discover the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) and unleash your inner entrepreneur! MBC is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition where student teams have the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling over $100,000. MBC features three separate tracks. The Seigle Impact Track recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission-driven goal. Student teams from across campus receive mentoring and coaching as they advance through three rounds to the finals in February.

The Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track is sponsored by the Mark and Robin Seigle Entrepreneurial Innovation Fund and co-managed by Business+Impact, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

LEARN MORE


Majora Carter on Urban Revitalization Strategies


Fri, Nov. 6 @ 12-1:30 pm
Online


Business+Impact (B+I) is proud to co-sponsor U-M Poverty Solutions’ speaker Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. Ms. Carter’s work spans real estate and economic development, technology, green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems. She combines her corporate consulting practice focused on talent-retention and applies it to reducing “brain drain” in American low-status communities.

LEARN MORE


Student-Run Nonprofit Deploys Medical Supplies to Community Clinics

Blueprints for Pangaea, a student-run 501(c)(3) medical surplus recovery organization (MSRO), coordinated a donation of 700+ plastic face shields to community-based clinics such as Packard Health, Hope Clinic, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, and SafeHouse Center. This donation of PPE was from Crawford Industries and Systematics, Inc, and the UM chapter anticipates donating more than 4,000 masks to area organizations during the pandemic. In 2015, Blueprints for Pangaea won the Social Impact Track of Michigan Ross’ Michigan Business Challenge.

READ MORE



Ross Event Highlights:

Ross: Dean’s Panel on Race and Business Education
Tues, Oct. 13 @ 3 pm
Online

Ross Alumni Relations: Race, Gender, and Rights: Histories of the Practice of Democratic Citizenship
Mon, Oct. 19 @ 7:30 pm
Online

Ross Alumni Relations: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed Presentation with Dr. Eugene Rogers
Tues, Oct. 13 @ 3 pm
Online

 



Gordon Scholarship Winners for 2020-21


Business+Impact (B+I) is pleased to announce that Claire Babilonia (MBA ’21), Tieranny Baker (MBA ’21) and Kevin Finnegan (MBA/MPP ’21) were chosen from nearly 30 applicants to receive the 2020-21 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for outstanding commitment to solving complex social challenges. The award comes with $5,000 for each recipient. Gordon Scholars serve as B+I Student Ambassadors for the 2020-21 academic year.

Read More

 


 


+Impact Studio Digital Student Open Houses


Tue Oct 27, 2020
5 – 5:20pm


Wed Nov 11, 2020
7 – 7:20pm


Mon Nov 16, 2020
12:30 – 12:50pm


We invite you to attend one of the three digital open houses for students and learn about the +Impact Studio! In each open house you’ll get a behind-the- scenes tour of how students in BA670 are designing for resilience to help local businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate the pandemic. You’ll also learn about the experience in the course, which recently received the Aspen Ideas Worth Teaching Award, and plans for the winter semester. Attend any of the times listed for a tour!

 


 


+Impact Studio Wins an Prestigious Aspen Award


The Aspen Institute — a well-respected education/policy organization — has again honored a course at the Ross School of Business with its prestigious Ideas Worth Teaching Awards. The Ideas Worth Teaching Awards are presented annually by Aspen’s Business & Society Program “to celebrate visionary faculty and the courses that tackle society’s largest, most embedded challenges of our time.”  The +Impact Studio: Translation Research into Practice (BA 670) course, taught by Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks.

Read more



A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus


The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 

IMPACT GATEWAY

At the University:

MICHIGAN ONLINE

Social Entrepreneurship Training

Newly Released Online Course

Are you are thinking about becoming a social entrepreneur? Michigan Online announces a new free course called “Becoming a Social Entrepreneur: Getting Started.” Taught by Michael Gordon, author of the book of the same title, this five-week online course, you’ll hear about 11 real-life social entrepreneurs, working around the world, and craft your own personal immersion plan.

More Info


CENTER FOR SOCIALLY ENGAGED DESIGN

Innovation in Action

Innovation in Action at the University of Michigan is a campus-wide competition giving groups the opportunity, the tools, the people, and the room to take on the world’s biggest challenges. Through the course of this experience, you and your team will do a deep dive into a problem space and come out the other side with robust insights about complex issues, and the tools to synthesize that data into a solution.

View the world. Find a challenge. Create a better way.

The program will start in January 2021! Interested in learning more? Visit our website to fill out the interest form: innovationinaction.umich.edu


U-M DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

DEI Summit

Mon, Oct. 26 @ 10 – 11:30 am
Online

The virtual DEI Summit provides an opportunity for the University to highlight the progress we’ve made over the previous year, the changes we’re experiencing across campus, and the opportunities of continued engagement with our community. This year’s theme, Arts+Social Change: Building an Anti-Racist World through the Arts, provides a time and space for the campus community to come together to demonstrate a collective commitment to anti-racism that this moment in our history compels.

More Info


FORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY

Policy Talks @ The Ford School


The Ford School hosts a diverse array of timely, meaningful events that engage our students, community, and public policy leaders. During the next month, the Ford School will host this wide-ranging and powerful series of talks on race, humanity and climate.

David Miliband on international politics, humanitarian needs, and the global significance of the U.S. election
Thurs, Oct. 15 @ 4 – 5 pm

Framing and Debating Climate Change and the Environment in Key African States
Thurs, Oct. 22 @ 11:30 am – 12:50 pm


Cecilia Muñoz on More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You…and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise
Mon, Oct. 26 @ 4 – 5 pm

Ford School Community Event on “John Lewis: Good Trouble”
Tues, Oct. 27 @ 4 – 5 pm

Race, Media and Political Attitudes
Thurs, Nov. 12 @ Noon – 12:50 pm


In the Impact Community:

Make Fashion Clean – Board Opportunities



Apply Now

Make Fashion Clean (MFC) is a nonprofit organization working to change how jeans are consumed and disposed of globally. They research fashion pollution, educate about denim dumping, and collaborate with artisans affected by disability at the MFI Founding in Ghana to create upcycled fashion.  MFC is recruiting board members and advisors with expertise in fashion, finance, nonprofit management, marketing, environmental advocacy, disability rights, and artisan work.

Apply Now


Upswell


Oct. 14-16
Pittsburgh / Online

Upswell 2020 is about the two most important issues facing every changemaker in the United States: ending racism and recovering from the pandemic. So, Upswell is inviting you to show up. Because it’s going to take the very best you’ve got – and the very best the rest of us have got – to heal our nation and create a society where every person can thrive. Registration options are designed to ensure that every changemaker has the opportunity to participate.

More info


Net Impact/SOCAP Conference


Oct 19-23, 2020
Online

This year, join SOCAP Virtual: A Global Impact Summit, the leading virtual gathering of global changemakers addressing the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. Net Impact is proud to partner with SOCAP 2020, the leading impact investing conference, on Monday, October 19 for a special day of curated content, networking, and connection opportunities. Net Impact Members get more than 35% off the Ticket Price by using the registration code “NETIMPACT20“.

More info


Grinnell Prize


Nominations due: Sat, Oct. 31

The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize (the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $50,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their related, nominated organization.

More info


Wege Prize



Application due
Mon, Nov. 9

Wege Prize 2021 will again be open to undergraduate and graduate students from anywhere in the world, and will again be focused on the circular economy. When does it start? Well, right now! The Team Application period has been open since August, but final deliverables and team names are due next month.


Application Information


OFN Virtual Conference


Nov. 9 – 12
Online

This year’s OFN Virtual Conference—the largest gathering in the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry—will feature four half-days of inspiring plenaries, energizing sessions, distinguished speakers, networking opportunities, and testimonials from CDFI-funded small businesses, affordable housing developers and residents, and community organizations across America. The theme for this year is finance justice.

More info

Business+Impact Announces Its 20-21 Board Fellows and Nonprofit Partners

Again in the 2020-21 academic year, in the face of a coronavirus pandemic, Business+Impact is running Board Fellows program, now in its seventeenth year.  While the meetings may be virtual, the impacts will be real for these master’s students and our partner nonprofits.  Students will attend monthly board meetings as non-voting members and complete a major strategic project by the end of the academic year.  Below are the regional organizations and the students assigned to them:

Alternatives for Girls

Alternatives For Girls helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy, and exploitation, and helps them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives.
www.alternativesforgirls.org

  • Alexia Sabogal, MBA
  • Moji JImoh, MBA

Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living

The mission of the Ann Arbor CIL is to provide hope, offer support, and transform lives with dedication to the success of children, youth, adults, and seniors with disabilities at home, at school, at work and in the community.
www.annarborcil.org

  • Jen Garb, MBA

Ann Arbor Track Club

  • The AATC will be a thriving running club that carefully combines its member activities and services to welcome all types of runners, enhancing the participation of beginners, recreational, competitive, and elite runners.
    www.aatrackclub.org

  • Eamon Culinanane, MBA

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Washtenaw County

The Mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationship
that ignite the power and promise of youth.
bbbswashtenaw.org

  • Danielle Miller, MBA

Brilliant Detroit

Brilliant Detroit is dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods where families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school ready, healthy and stable. We do this by providing proven programming and support year round out of Brilliant Detroit homes in high-need neighborhoods.
brilliantdetroit.org

  • Rachel Schafer, MPP
  • Daniella Gennaro, MBA

Community Action Network

Community Action Network (CAN) envisions the closing of socio-economic gaps by providing educational and enrichment programs for children and teens, supportive services for families who are under-resourced, and challenging systems rooted in racism and inequality.
canwashtenaw.org

  • Karli Boulware, MPA
  • Dave Kobel, MPH, Education

Center for Success Network

Based in Detroit, Center for Success unites literacy and community to empower students in the journey of education.
center4success.org

  • Isabel Randolph, MBA

Child Care Network

Established in 1971, Child Care Network (CCN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the success of children, families and our community through quality child care education, advocacy and family support.
childcarenetwork.org

  • Christine Smith, MBA

Detroit Horse Power

We teach urban youth to ride and care for horses as a way to develop critical skills that will set them up for future success. Our planned urban equestrian center will be built on repurposed vacant land in Detroit and offer year-round youth programming while supporting a stronger community.
detroithorsepower.org

  • Gabriel VanLoozen, MBA, JD

Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center

The Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center (DDNRC) advances innovative practices in higher education that promote respectful, transformative dialogue on controversial topics and complex social issues, thereby reflecting a commitment to pluralism and academic freedom and strengthening a democratically engaged society.
difficultdialogues.org

  • Nicole Fernandez, MBA
  • Harshita Pilla, MBA, MURP

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is an open enrollment, tuition-free public charter high school on the northwest side of Detroit.
jrladetroit.com

  • Ben Levine, MBA, MPP

Local Circles

The mission of Local Circles is to facilitate youth-led research in which young people pose their own questions and conduct research to inquire upon social issues that are meaningful to them.
localcirclesdetroit.org

  • Josie Whelen, Environment, Education

NEW: Solutions for Nonprofits

NEW seeks to improve the impact and performance of nonprofits by creating high-quality strategic solutions.
www.new.org

  • Nicole Allen, MBA
  • Naomi Barker, MBA, Environment

Old Newsboy’s Goodfellow Fund

Since 1914 the mission of the Old Newsboy’s Goodfellow Fund is “No kiddie without a Christmas.”
www.detroitgoodfellows.org

  • Eshwar Sundararaju, MBA

Salvation Army of Metro Detroit

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.  Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without  discrimination.
centralusa.salvationarmy.org/emi

  • Conner Donnelly, MBA, Environment

Ten Thousand Villages of Huron Valley 

The Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to US markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.
http://www.tenthousandvillages.com

  • Annie Zaro, MBA, Environment

United Cerebral Palsy of Metro  Detroit

The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Detroit (UCP/Detroit) is to advance the independence of all people with disabilities while supporting their right to self-determination and inclusion through programs that focus on person centered advocacy, employment and assistive technology.
ucpdetroit.org

  • Hailey Jures, MPA

Senior Fellow

  • J’Taime Lyons, MBA
  • Emily Edkins, MBA

August 2020 Newsletter

Engage with 30+ UM Impact Groups at the B+I Virtual Showcase

Thurs, Sept. 3 @ Noon – 1:30 pm
on Zoom

Welcome new and returning students! Come discover opportunities to make a difference in the places where you live and work, at the school, and around the world. As part of our mission to make students aware of impact opportunities across campus, we invite students to our third annual Business+Impact Showcase on Sept. 3 from Noon – 1:30 pm. This is a virtual tabled event hosted on Zoom, and students will have a chance to meet with over 30 organizations and map out their U-M impact journeys.

FIND OUT MORE


Nonprofit Board Fellowship Info Session and Application

Business+Impact’s Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program places top graduate students as non-voting members on boards of Southeast Michigan nonprofits. An application for the program is available on our website, and is due Fri, Sept. 11 at noon. Application instructions and a student information sheet are also available. A video of a mandatory info session will be on the B+I website by the first day of classes (8/31) With all the challenges that nonprofit organizations of various types face in the current times, with the COVID crisis, this promises to be an interesting and rewarding year for the program, and masters students across U-M are invited to apply.

LEARN MORE


+Impact Studio Supports Local Businesses and Impactful Prototypes

 

The +Impact Studio is a studio for impact creators and innovators that brings impactful ideas to life using business, design, and research expertise. This summer, Impact Design Fellows in the interdisciplinary +Impact Design Lab (Justin Wood (MSW/MBA), Elizabeth Sofranek (MBA), and Lucy Jiang (MSI) have been hard at work moving projects forward for long term impact. Their focus has been on nurturing a prototype from last year’s course, supporting a community of innovators across U-M, and sharing learnings on designing for impact on Medium.

This summer, the +Impact Studio also collaborated with the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) of the UM Center on Finance, Law, & Policy and the Ford School of Public Policy to launch the Impact Studio for Local Business to help businesses in Southeast Michigan respond to and adapt to challenges caused by the pandemic. Led by Ross faculty Chris Mueller, 37 Ross and Ford school students worked with small businesses across the restaurant, retail, and personal services sectors to identify pain points and opportunity spaces to develop scalable solutions. These open source tools and guides are available here!

+Impact Studio Course: Designing for Resiliency Through the Pandemic

In the interdisciplinary studio course BA670, graduate students gain a mindset, process, and set of tools and experiences for developing impactful solutions to societal challenges, a toolkit that is also desired by top employers across industries. This fall, students in BA670 will engage local businesses and nonprofits to design solutions for tackling challenges and increasing resiliency through the pandemic. Students can still register to be part of this impactful experience.


 

Insights from the +Impact Studio Community

Part of our mission to bring impactful ideas to life includes reflecting and sharing our learning with others working to create impact. In order to share these ideas in a blog format and reach a wider audience we created a new Medium site!


Stories of Impact from Summer Impact Interns

In the summer of 2020, Business+Impact supported student internship opportunities with different types of organizations. Students from Ross and Ford created impact through virtual internships where they developed skills in business and policy that expanded their horizons exponentially. Read eight snapshots of student experiences from this summer and see testimonials of students who previously participated in Give-A-Day Fund internships.

READ MORE

Admissions: Ask Me Anything: Diversity at Ross
Thurs, Aug. 20
@ 7 pm EDT
Online

Tauber: Spotlight! Showcase
Fri, Sept. 11 @ 8 am – 4 pm EDT
Online

Watch for Business+Impact at the following events in September


Business+Impact is built on the foundational belief that diverse views and voices strengthen our ability to affect change. As such, we partner with businesses, nonprofits, social enterprises, and other academic units so our students have profound experiences and see tangible results. In the interest of sharing our opportunities with students, we will be taking part in a number of virtual programs across campus and speaking one-on-one with them virtually as they begin planning for the academic year. Below are places where we will be found:


BackPac App Connects Nonprofits and Activists

BackPac is a new app founded by Ross alums and developed through TechArb and Ross’ Living Business Leadership Experience. Backpac helps those who want to find connections with nonprofits, and is currently working with many nonprofits in Washtenaw and Wayne counties to source virtual and in-person volunteers and funds needed to adress the many challenges arising due to the current pandemic. In a recent SE Michigan Ross Alumni meeting, BackPac presented opportunities and demonstrated the online app. You can view opportunities around you for yourself at app.backpac.co. Two of BackPac’s co-founders are now working full time on the company. They have also scaled their development team from one to five full time developers, which has helped them accelerate progress. B+I is proud of what BackPac has accomplished already and where they are headed in the future.

READ MORE HERE

News & Notes

RACIAL JUSTICE:

COVID-19:

OTHER:

At the University:

ENGAGED MICHIGAN

Community Engagement Online Mini-Course

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of content experts from U-M, the Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change massive open online course (MOOC) is designed to help both novices and seasoned practitioners of community engagement work more effectively with communities and organizations, both domestically and abroad.

More Info


 

MICHIGAN ONLINE

Enroll Any Time for these Teach-outs

Michigan Online offers a variety of learning experiences from individual courses to fully online degrees. Included in these offerings are short online learning ‘teach-outs’ on important topics facing society. Learn more about the items below and other items, and start learning now!

 


 

NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND RADIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Fastest Path to Zero Summit II

Tues, Sept. 15 @ Noon – 1:30 pm
Online


Join the University of Michigan and Third Way, a public policy think tank based in Washington, DC, for the second annual Fastest Path to Zero Summit. This year, to protect the health of all those involved, the summit will be a virtual series. The summit will bring together leading climate advocates, philanthropists, labor leaders, elected officials, academics, and media from across the Midwest and the nation.

More Info


 

FORD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY

Women of Color on the Rise


Tues, Sept. 15 @ 4 pm
Online


Join Ford School professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes. for a discussion with Cecilia Muñoz about her new book, More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You . . . and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise.

More Info



In the Impact Community:

Impact Foundry Webinars

Offering comprehensive resources, from a professionally-staffed library, access to a grant funder database, from fundraising workshops to management networking, the Impact Foundry enables new and existing nonprofits to improve management, operations, fund development, marketing & public relations, board development and more.



Full Calendar of Events


Council of Michigan Foundations

Thurs, Aug. 20 @ 1 – 3:30 pm EDT
Online

Join the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Nonprofit Association, Michigan Community Resources and Co.act Detroit as they explore how nonprofit boards in these exceptional times can demonstrate leadership, serve as a valued partner and support team culture. A panel of nonprofit executives will discuss the role of boards in preparing for the long-term implications of COVID-19 and how to engage in their organization’s racial justice work while considering the larger question of how governance structures can promote equity, or reinforce inequity. 

Information and Registration


Wege Prize

Applications Start Tues, Aug. 25
Apply by Mon, Nov. 9

Wege Prize 2021 will again be open to undergraduate and graduate students from anywhere in the world, and will again be focused on the circular economy. When does it start? Well, right now! The Team Application period has been open since August, but final deliverables and team names are due next month.

Application Information


The Color of Law, The Color of Money – Restorative Solutions to Redress the Racial Wealth Gap


Thurs, Aug. 27 @ 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT
Skills Workshop @ 3:30 – 4:30 pm EDT
Online

Net Impact will explore a few innovative ideas and solutions for building capital in Black communities and closing the wealth gap, which include Path to 15-55 and “baby bonds” as discussed by guest Tynesia Boyea-Robinson and Derrick Hamilton. At the end of the first hour, you are invited to join a second hour for a skills-building workshop led by Tynesia. This interactive session will expand on the themes and specific examples discussed in Part 1, and provide attendees a broader framework that can help them understand how to leverage the tools of capitalism for social outcomes.

Event Info


Nonprofit Management Institute 2020

Sept. 22-24
Online

Focused in particular on the way Covid-19 is reshaping the social sector, this online conference through the Stanford Social Innovation Review will feature numerous speakers from inside and around the nonprofit sector who are at the top of their game, who will discuss everything from in-person board meetings to philanthropy and collective action.

Info and Registration


Epic Social Ventures


Apply now

The Social Ventures Foundation mission is to facilitate sustainable market creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid by identifying, promoting and facilitating the investment in social ventures that employ the poor to lift the livelihoods of the poor. The End Poverty Innovation Challenge is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, EPIC facilitates a pipeline to facilitate the identification, recognition, promotion and investment in the most impactful and of outstanding   sustainable social ventures that can scale and make a difference to millions of the world’s poor. 

Application Information



Summer 2020 Newsletter

Anti-Racism and Racial Justice


Business+Impact stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the Ross School of Business BBSA. With Business+Impact we aim to build a better world through powerful ideas and solutions to address the global challenges of our time. We are committed to the work of dismantling the structures of systemic racism, advancing racial justice in America, and building an equitable and sustainable future. We recognize that we must examine how we live our values each day, and seek to continually educate ourselves and others in the fight for justice and equity. Below are some featured items and a link to a resource page.

 

+Impact Studio News

Impact Design Lab 
The Impact Design Lab provides interdisciplinary coaching and support for early-stage impact prototypes developed through the course and other impact projects. The Lab offers guidance on design thinking, social impact, and innovation, and helps connect projects into the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at UM.  

Impact Design Summer Fellowship
This summer, a team of Impact Design Fellows with business, digital design, and technical skills are collaborating with Studio faculty and staff to bring the work of the studio from prototype to launch. The Fellows– Lucy Jiang (MSI), Justin Woods (MBA/MSW), and Elizabeth Sofranek (MBA) will bring their interdisciplinary skills to a project prototype designed to advance equity.

They are joined in the Impact Design Fellowship by student Fellows working on course prototypes at external organizations or impact projects/ventures, including: Alyshia Dyer (MPP), Justin Woods (MBA/MSW), Zichen Wang (MS, Design Science), Ruchita Lodha (MSI), Bennett Hilkert (BBA), Stephanie Shoo (BBA/BSE), and Rodney Sherwin Shibu (BSE).

You can read insights from Impact Design Fellow Justin Woods in the article, 5 Ineffective Ways Organizations Respond to Racial Trauma and participate in a series of three webinars on racial justice next week. Stayed tuned for more news from the Impact Design Lab this summer! 

+Impact Studio for Local Business
This summer B+I is working with partners at Michigan Ross and the Ford School of Public Policy to help small businesses in Detroit adapt and innovate in the wake of COVID-19 through a program called Impact Studio for Local Business. Business and Public Policy students in the program support the Southeast Michigan community and help build a more resilient local ecosystem.

LEARN MORE

 


Announcing the 2020 Impact Interns

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.  MBA funding comes from the Give-A-Day Fund, a Ross MBA pay-it-forward fund, which recently won a CASE award.

This year, although interns will be asked to work from home, these students are still making an impact around the world. Below, see the list of nearly 30 recipients and who they will be working with this summer.

BBAs:
Claire Haase, Waterworks, Detroit, MI
Ryan Kellett, Positive Business Rapid Assessment Tool, Birmingham, MI
Yousef Kobeissi, US House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Reena Mathews, Sierra Club, Lansing, MI
Neha Paragi, Troy Digital Consulting Initiative, Troy, MI
Sara Sotirov, Total Impact Capital, Bethesda, MD

MBAs
Claire Babilonia, Ashoka, Arlington, VA
Sara Bemporad, Blavity Inc., San Francisco, CA
Kelsey Casey, The Global Good Fund Columbia, MD
Robert Chen, Bcurrent Impact Investment, Taiwan
Suman Gidwani, VoteTripling.org, Los Angeles, CA
Andrey Higashi, Fleming Medicina, Porto Alegre Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Dustin Huibregtse, Quorum: The Twin Cities GLBTA Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis, MN
J’Taime Lyons, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Durham, NC
Avani Sharma, Teach for India, New Delhi, India
Stephanie Simpson, NextStep, Ann Arbor, MI
Alexandra Taikowski, Henry Health, Washington, D.C.
Allison Winstel, Enterprise Community Partners, Washington, DC
Nicki Yochim, Spoiler Alert, Boston, MA

MPPs:
Paul Capp, Asia Society Policy Institute, New York, NY
Kellen Data, City of Hamtramck Community and Economic Development, Hamtramck, MI
Eli Gold, Soulardarity, Highland Park, MI
Vivian Kalumbi, CARE, Merrifield, VA
Emma Kern, Hawaii Appleseed, Honolulu, HI
Christopher LeFlore, Office of Detroit City Council Member Janee’ Ayers, Detroit, MI
Tanya Omolo, Mary Turner Center for Advocacy, Detroit, MI
Daniel Park, Movement Advancement Project, Boulder, CO
Victor Rateng, MIT GOV/LAB, Cambridge, MA
Orlando Sanchez, Monterrey County Free Libraries, Marina, CA
Kalena Thomhave, Institute for Policy Studies, Boston, MA


One searchable platform for all things impact at Ross and across campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


Board Fellows Program Information


Could your nonprofit benefit from the knowledge that an outstanding graduate student could provide? Applications from nonprofit organizations are accepted on a rolling basis through June 26. We match students with organizations based on the student’s skills and interests and your needs. For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals.

NONPROFITS: LEARN MORE AND APPLY

STUDENTS: READ ABOUT RECENT STUDENT EXPERIENCES

 

The Restorative Potential of Local Economies


Tues, June 23
@ 5:30-6:30 pm EDT
ONLINE

As we watch COVID-19 unfold across the globe we see supply chain breakdown and shortages in desperately needed PPE. Across the nation companies are pivoting how they do business, leveraging their supply chain, and repurposing equipment. How can local economies and resources such as makerspaces and design tools make an impact and fuel economic growth, and what can we do to help our local ecosystem during this unprecedented pandemic?
 

REGISTER HERE

At the University:

POVERTY SOLUTIONS

Poverty Narrative: A Midwest Perspective

This is a free virtual series dedicated to a deeper understanding of poverty in the U.S. and especially the Midwest. This series is open to anyone interested in improving the narrative around poverty in the U.S. – from exploring new storytelling strategies to translating complex research for deeper public engagement.

Understanding Disadvantage in Rural, Urban, and Suburban Places
Thurs, June 18 @ 12-1:30pm EDT

Where Public Policy Meets Real Life
Tues, June 23 @ 12-1:30pm EDT

Using Personal Stories for Systemic Change
Thurs, June 25 @ 12-1:30 pm EDT

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE

White Liberalism and the Illusion of Racial Progress

Thurs, June 18 @ 12-1:30pm EDT
Online

How does information impact opinions and voting behavior in the case of white liberal progressives? Specifically, does exposure to racial wealth gap data lead to support by white liberals for affirmative action, reparations, and similar programs? Join U-M PoliSci professor Vincent Hutchings for a discussion of these and related issues.

More Info

ENGAGED MICHIGAN

Community Engagement Online Mini-Course

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of content experts from U-M, the Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change massive open online course (MOOC) is designed to help both novices and seasoned practitioners of community engagement work more effectively with communities and organizations, both domestically and abroad.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Co.Act Detroit Activate Fund


Application Due:
Fri, June 19

Eligible applicants must be a registered 501c3 in good standing and serve at least one of the following four counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw. Selection will also be based on forming a diverse grantee cohort, developing a peer learning community, alignment with Co.act’s values and approach to capacity building.

Info and Application

D-Prize


Application Due:
Mon, June 22

The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet millions of people still don’t have access. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the distribution challenges? D-Prize will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch a pilot version of your new organization wherever extreme poverty exists.

Application info

Racial Justice Webinars

EQuity Social Venture is Ross student Justin Woods’ vehicle for developing emotional intelligence, so that the world can advance racial justice, Next week, Justin will hosting three community-wide webinars on racial justice, health, and understanding.

Healing Race-based Traume: A Virtual Healing Event for Black People
Tues, June 23 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT


Racial Microagressions: Education for non-Black Allies
Wed, June 24 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT


Emotionally Intelligent Engagement: Navigating Emotions Related to Racial Justice
Thurs, June 25 @ 7-8:30 pm EDT

Epic Social Ventures


Apply now

The Social Ventures Foundation mission is to facilitate sustainable market creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid by identifying, promoting and facilitating the investment in social ventures that employ the poor to lift the livelihoods of the poor. The End Poverty Innovation Challenge is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, EPIC facilitates a pipeline to facilitate the identification, recognition, promotion and investment in the most impactful and of outstanding   sustainable social ventures that can scale and make a difference to millions of the world’s poor. 


Application Information
 

2019-20 Board Fellows Learn about Nonprofits

Overview

The 2019-20 Board Fellowship Program was every bit as successful as in recent years. Students from Ross, Ford, School of Social Work, Public Health, and other programs developed project management and executive skills as board members of nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan.  Although the academic year ending with the closing of all U-M programs due to COVID-19, most students got to experience the bulk of the program between October and March.

In addition to attending all board meetings and serving on a board committee, they worked on a board-level project tackling a complex organizational challenge, and attended the Board Fellows Forum in February.

You can see the complete list of 2019-20 Board Fellows, but we interviewed a few of our board fellows here and learned a bit more about their personal experiences with the program:


Louise Ashwell, MSW

Organization: Corner Health Center

Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with the organization, and how did it further the organization’s mission? I have produced a dashboard for the organization which measures and tracks key metrics relating to total appointments, no-show rates and ages of patients to allow the board to monitor the organization’s progress towards advancing the new strategic plan. I have also produced a brief literature review regarding industry best practice on improving no-show rates and proposed data analyses that the organization can undertake to better identify the factors which inform their no-shows (e.g. prior missed appointments, difference in days between the date the appointment was arranged and the date it was scheduled). This will help them identify common reasons why patients miss appointments and adapt their interventions accordingly. Over time, this will hopefully allow the organization to reduce their no-show rate and meet their other strategic goals.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned; what skill have you developed?

I have gained understanding about the strategic value of dashboards as a practical overview of an organization’s performance and overall direction. I have learnt a great deal too about the performance metrics that are most pertinent in healthcare settings. The process of creating a dashboard from scratch has provided me with insight into how strategic decisions and targets are reached, and has created an opportunity to make a tool which is at once interactive and provides meaningful information without overwhelming board members with more data than they can handle. I pursued the Board Fellowship program at the same time as taking a graduate class in data management in healthcare settings, so the project provided an opportunity for me to apply the skills that I was learning in that class in an applied, meaningful context.

What impact will this experience have on future plans?

I am interested in pursuing a career in program evaluation, so this opportunity to drill down into organizational effectiveness from the high-level perspective of a board member has provided me with valuable understanding both about developing and measuring achievable targets, and communicating them internally. Having been able to develop a practical tool will, I hope, be a resource that I can showcase to prospective employers to demonstrate the data analysis skills that I have acquired.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? My advice would be to maintain consistent communication with your organizational mentor, including a monthly meeting, to ensure you are on the same page about what the final deliverable will be. Be honest about the demands on your time as a busy graduate student and how much time you can realistically spend on the project every month. And do take advantage of the opportunity to gain fascinating insights into how nonprofits are managed and the phenomenal work they do. Supporting a health clinic during the COVID-19 crisis and bearing witness to their phenomenal efforts to protect their staff and patients has been a truly humbling experience. I am in awe of the work the Corner staff put in and the board’s commitment to supporting such a wonderful organization.


Emily Edkins, MBA

Organization: North Star Reach

Pinckney, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with the organization, and how did it further the organization’s mission? During my Board Fellowship experience, I created an on-boarding program for new board members at North Star Reach, an organization committed to providing life-changing camp experiences for children with serious health challenges and their families. The new on-boarding package supports the organization’s long-term goal of recruiting and retaining board members who are engaged and committed to growing the program to serve more families across Michigan and beyond.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned; what skill have you developed? This experience helped me build skills as a nonprofit consultant by approaching challenges more creatively and with a deeper understanding of the unique constraints facing nonprofits. I grew my ability to analyze several complex issues and identify the most pressing and impactful area to focus on in a short period of time. Attending and participating in board meetings exposed me to board meeting facilitation and governance, which is a great foundation as I pursue opportunities to participate on boards in the future.

What impact will this experience have on future plans? I’m excited to continue working with North Star Reach as a Young Associates Board member and advocating for the organization’s important mission. The relationships I’ve built at North Star Reach are lifelong, and I plan to support the roll out of the on-boarding program by facilitating Board Mentor training sessions. This program reinforced my commitment to working in the nonprofit space, with the long-term goal of consulting for nonprofits to help them achieve their strategic goals.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? I would encourage future Board Fellows to embrace opportunities to build relationships with board members and others within the nonprofit organization. Ask questions, be curious, and have an open mind about what is possible. This experience is about being proactive, creative, and adaptable to each organization’s unique challenges and mission, and ultimately making a difference that has lasting impact once the fellowship concludes. I strongly encourage students to consider this opportunity!



Robert Hsu, MBA/MPH

Organization: Growing Hope

Ypsilanti, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with the organization, and how did it further the organization’s mission? I worked on the business case assessment for a nonprofit retail concept to enable local farmers and vendors sell their produce and goods more easily to consumers. Because of the investment required for it, the organization wanted to better understand the idea’s financial viability, operational feasibility, and attractiveness to consumers. To do so, I gathered data from local businesses on their store traffic, examined existing retail outlets in the area, analyzed historical sales data from a similar outlet, and modeled various financial scenarios. Completing the project furthered Growing Hope’s mission by clarifying whether the new concept would successfully build on their current efforts in increasing healthy, local food access through farmers’ markets and gardening programs.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned; what skill have you developed? The biggest thing I learned was that influencing people’s health through food goes beyond just the end consumer. An entire chain of people and resources are involved in creating a well-functioning and fair food system. I appreciate that Growing Hope thinks about the entire food system, from the farmers who work hard to grow produce and deserve fair compensation, to the end consumers who may not have the means to consistently access healthy foods. The skill I have continued to hone is working across numerous stakeholders who have different (yet equally important) perspectives on the same problem or opportunity. I enjoyed learning and hearing from the many people I spoke to this past school year about my project.

What impact will this experience have on future plans? This experience has shown me how people can go beyond being just a volunteer or donor to the organizations they care about. Wherever I live long-term, I am looking forward to forming a meaningful relationship with a local nonprofit organization and, if asked by the non-profit, provide my knowledge and skillsets to helping them achieve their mission.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? I would recommend being flexible since your project plans may change as you learn new information. Your project is also likely one of many priorities for the board, so adapt it to their needs so you deliver a product that is truly helpful to the organization.



Jordan Owens, MBA

Organization: Detroit PAL

Detroit, MI

Describe the project you have worked on with the organization, and how did it further the organization’s mission? My project was to create a strategy for board recruitment, increased board engagement, and an update to the bylaws for the Detroit Police Athletic League. These steps were necessary to reach Detroit PAL’s goals of making better connections throughout the community, making sure that the community is well represented by those elected to the board, and ensuring that members of the Board have the necessary skills and expertise to direct such a large organization.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned; what skill have you developed? The biggest thing that I learned was the importance of making frequent contact with the client throughout the project. Even though all the board members had full-time jobs and busy personal lives, we were able to check in at least bi-weekly. It was important that I was well-prepared to present the current state of the project and my next steps so that we could make the best of the time and stay aligned on the project status and goals.

What impact will this experience have on future plans? After graduation, I would be interested in serving on a nonprofit board. The work they do differs greatly from for-profit corporations, and it was interesting to learn about the unique challenges they face. Serving on a Board like Detroit PAL would be especially exciting and rewarding, because they work directly with kids in the community and have a measurable impact on their lives.

Do you have advice for future board fellows? The most important part of the Board Fellows project is in the first few weeks when you define and scope the project with the help of your Board Mentor. Putting effort in early will set a clear road map for the tasks ahead. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from other Board Fellows, the Business+Impact staff, or any  other available resource. 


Resources

  • See photos from the Board Fellows’ Experience:

2019-20 Board Fellows Experiences

April 2020 Newsletter

Coronavirus Resources for Student Changemakers and Impact Organizations

We know the strain and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting student changemakers and impact organizations in an array of ways. Many in the impact community are seeking tools to help navigate through this challenging time and ways they can contribute during the crisis. We have curated a collection of online resources that offer guidance to individuals and organizations in responding to the pandemic. It includes ways to seek financial support, give back, and care for yourself and your team. We are wishing all of you safety and wellness during this time.

Here are some highlights from the resources:

For Students:

For Orgs:

 

Make an Impact with Your Internship

Round Two Application
Due Fri, Apr. 17

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to accept applications after the April 17th priority deadline on a rolling basis. We are hopeful that this will allow students to make internship arrangements should business and social sector organizations need to restructure their internship process and timelines.

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.

If you are a student looking to complete a social impact internship this summer in the nonprofit, public, or private sectors, then you are eligible to apply, as long as the organization has a clearly defined social or environmental mission. This opportunity enables you to receive a stipend for summer internships in addition to project management, research, and industry coaching from B+I.

APPLY HERE

Learn Design Thinking for A Better World in Fall 2020 Course

Are you a graduate student at the University of Michigan? Register for the new graduate +Impact Studio Course (BA 670), selected as a 2019 Poets & Quants “Most Interesting Class.” Taught by Ross professor Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, the Fall 4.5 credit design thinking course will teach you practical work skills in ethnography, ecosystem mapping, ideation, prototyping, and business model design, addressing challenges determined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and research from our award-winning faculty.

To learn more, check out these resources:

APPLY HERE

One searchable platform for all things impact at Ross and across campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


Virtual Information Session for Nonprofit Organizations

Wed, May 13: Noon – 1 pm – ONLINE

We invite leaders from SE Michigan nonprofit organizations to attend an information session about the Board Fellowship Program. Graduate student Board Fellows serve as non-voting board members on nonprofit boards and complete a board-level strategic project. Organizations identify key projects such as fund development, sustainability strategies, business plans, and dashboards. For the coming year, projects could focus on the COVID-19 response or on broader strategic goals. Session attendees will learn about the program and hear from nonprofit leaders currently participating.

 

Solve Problems and Build Skills Across Cultures with WDI Virtual Practicum


Now’s the time to reserve your spot in Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum for  Fall 2020!  This exciting action-learning course on international business cultures connects you with peers from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and the USA. This is a truly one-of-a-kind learning experience offering you an opportunity to work collaboratively in a global team environment, equipping you with the skills you need to communicate and problem-solve—essential 21st-century skills for an interconnected world.

The course (BA 310) is open to all majors at the University of Michigan.

LEARN MORE

 

At the University:

POVERTY SOUTIONS

Midwest Mobility from Poverty Conference

Tues-Wed, June 9-10
University of Michigan or Online (TBA)

The Midwest Mobility from Poverty Network is bringing together journalists and academic researchers from across the nation, with a focus on Midwest, for this conference to promote in-depth, impactful, and solutions-oriented media coverage of poverty-related issues.  This conference is open to anyone interested in improving the narrative around poverty in the U.S. – from exploring new storytelling strategies to translating complex research for deeper public engagement. It may be offered in-person or virtually, depending upon the situation in Michigan at the time.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Public Allies


Apply Now

Public Allies Metro Detroit is a program of the U of M-Dearborn, and a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Our program is made possible through funding of the Corporation for National and the Community Service and Michigan Community Service Commission. Apply now for fall opportunities

Application info

Student PIRGs


Apply Now

 

Students — past, present and future — are often at the forefront of movements to build a better future for our country. The Student PIRGs work closely with The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done. This election year is a good time to get started.

Info and Application

2020 Call for Code Global Challenge


KIck-Off Event
Wed, Apr. 22 @ 7 – 10 pm EST

 

Student leaders and social innovators from colleges and universities around the world with technical and non-technical backgrounds are invited to join Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and IBM on Earth Day, April 22, for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge–University Edition Kick-Off virtual event! Call for Code is a multi-year global initiative to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues. 

Register here by Apr. 20

Co.Act Detroit Activate Fund


Application Due:
Wed, Apr. 22

 

Eligible applicants must be a registered 501c3 in good standing and serve at least one of the following four counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw. Selection will also be based on forming a diverse grantee cohort, developing a peer learning community, alignment with Co.act’s values and approach to capacity building.

Info and Application

COVID-19 Business Pivot Challenge


Submit by Apr. 30

This challenge offers an open and collaborative space to develop solutions, post inspiration, gather feedback, and find partners. Participation is invited from anyone to share inspiration and ideas, from business owners and leaders to employees within companies of all types and sizes. Jump into the challenge and share inspiration and/or ideas. This 3-week sprint will be open until April 30, 2020. 

Submission info

Proposals for Upswell 2020


Submit by May 15

Think about the enormous potential when thousands of changemakers – each one with unique perspectives, experiences, and skills – gather in Pittsburgh this October 14-16 for Upswell.  From quick talks to creative problem-solving to bold prototyping  you may propose events for a wide range of activities on the Upswell schedule.

Submission info

CEMEX-TEC Awards and Bootcamps


Submit by May 31

The CEMEX-TEC Award has 4 global categories, within which you can participate by registering your project. Social entrepreneurship projects must have at least one year of implementation and generate a systemic change.  Projects in sustainable transformation of communities should focus on postgraduate students. Community-based and social transformation projects that have at least one year of implementation form the third group. Collaborative action projects are focused on organizations that work through intersectoral alliances, involving at least 3 sectors of society.

Submission info