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Volunteering Resources

MBA students and alumni have numerous opportunities to create social and environmental value by offering their time, ideas, and funds. Some use these opportunities to explore potential areas for career advancement, while others seek involvement in community activities outside their career.

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Nonprofit and mission-based organizations benefit from the volunteer's business skills and resources and these opportunities provide a valuable way for MBAs to connect to local and international communities on issues of personal interest and importance to society and the environment.

The resources below provide a starting point for exploration. These links and organizations can help connect MBAs to specific nonprofits in the following areas:

  1. Nonprofit Board Membership

  2. Pro bono Consulting

  3. Other Volunteering and Philanthropy resources

  4. Volunteering resources for Columbia Business School students

Also see the Independent Sector's Give Five's short guide on "How to Volunteer Wisely".

Please note that specific nonprofits are not listed below. Websites such as Bridgestar, BoardNet, Charity Navigator, and Guidestar are useful for searching for organizations by issue area or industry. Also, see the nonprofit and public management section of the Social Enterprise Industry Map, available to Columbia MBA students and alumni only under career resources.

1. Nonprofit Board Membership

Nonprofit Board Leadership Program at Columbia Business School connects students with alumni board members.

Board Source: numerous resources for building effective nonprofit boards.

BoardnetUSA: online matching service to find and join nonprofit boards.

Volunteer Consulting Group: a nonprofit organization working regionally and nationally to strengthen the governing and management capabilities of nonprofit boards of directors; based in NYC, also has a close relationship with BoardnetUSA, as well as other useful resources.

Compass Point: a consulting, research, and training organization providing nonprofits with management tools, strategies, and resources to lead change in their communities; sign up for their Board Café e-newsletter.

Complete Toolkit for Boards: online resources for developing, staffing, governance, and operating nonprofit boards, provided by the Free Management Library.

Foundation Center FAQ on nonprofit board resources.

Net Impact is also developing a Board Fellows Program for students and professional members.

Read an article about a Social Enterprise Club board training session conducted by David LaGreca '89.

2. Pro bono Consulting

Columbia MBA students can integrate consulting projects and field studies into curricular or extra curricular activities.

Small Business Consulting Program: includes consulting projects for nonprofit organizations as well as local small businesses.

International Development Club: consulting projects in international development and emerging markets.

Net Impact Service Corps: city and regional chapter-based pro bono consulting projects. Read more in a recent article from the Bottom Line.

MBA Corps: has a relationship with the Columbia Business School's Alumni Club in NYC.

MBA Enterprise Corps: 12-15 month international volunteer opportunities for second-year and recent MBA graduates (3-5 years).

3. Other volunteering and philanthropy resources for alumni and students

The BuildingBlocks International: has a Corporate Service Corps which targets managers who are socially conscious and excel professionally. Commonly referred to as a "Peace Corps" for corporations.

Volunteer Match: a good resource for finding organizations of interest.

Network for Good: searchable by postcode.

Just Give: aims to increase charitable giving and connects to Guidestar.

Charity Navigator: rates nonprofits for financial efficiency, rather than outcome or impact. For information about ratings, see articles from onPhilanthropy.com.

Robin Hood Foundation: foundation which targets poverty in New York City by funding and partnering with the best community-based groups; provides NYC volunteer opportunities with its grantees, by location.

Taproot Foundation: assists individual nonprofit agencies to develop their infrastructure in such critical areas as marketing/fundraising, information technology, and human resources; Offices in San Francisco and now in NYC.

New Sector Alliance (formerly Catalyst Alliance): provides numerous opportunities and consulting projects.

Idealist.org: website containing over 56,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 165 countries, which can be searched or browsed by name, location, or mission; see resources for volunteers.

World Wide Volunteers: online library about volunteerism and the information society; see links section for international and US volunteer organizations.

Charity Village: Canadian volunteer opportunities.

UN Volunteer Program: connects development organizations with volunteers over the Internet and supports their effective online collaboration; provides online volunteering options.

Business Volunteers for the Arts: a program of the Arts & Business Council promoting volunteerism, gathering and disseminating relevant information, and advocating closer ties between business and the arts.

Change.Net: portal to more than 850 helpful resources for NYC, the USA and the world; provides links to a select number of organizations by issue area; provides links to a select number of organizations by issue area.

Volunteer NYC: provides volunteer opportunities for New Yorkers; created by the Mayor's Volunteer Center and United Way New York City.

Foundation Center FAQ on finding volunteer opportunities.

Columbia University Alumni Volunteers: volunteer opportunities with first year international graduate students or Community Impact.

4. Other Columbia Business School volunteering resources for students

Columbia Community Service: the starting point for Columbia MBA students.

Community Action Rewards Everyone (CARE): the umbrella organization for all charity and volunteer efforts at Columbia Business School. Managed by the VP of Community of the Graduate Business Association (student government), CARE oversees most school activities and provides resources and guidance for the many community-oriented activities in which MBA students are involved. Volunteer opportunities are circulated to students via the "Notices" listserv.

In addition, other clubs currently offering volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations for MBA students include:

Columbia Women in Business: one of the most active clubs at Columbia Business School.

Harlem Tutorial Program of Columbia: a joint project between the Business School and the Law School. Each year, 80 business school students tutor Harlem-area school children on the Columbia campus for one to two afternoons each week. The objective of the program is to provide tutors who act as role models for junior high students, aiding in their social and educational development.

I-Prep: Columbia Business School students conduct mock interviews with emerging professionals, typically welfare-to-work individuals, providing guidance and insight to help them in their job search and interview process.

Junior Achievement at Columbia Business School: part of the international nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching economic principles to children.

Special thanks to those who contributed to this page: Kameron Kordestani, Randall Quan, Rebecca Thomas, Keith Timko, Maddy Tregidga, Selen Ucak.
Suggestions about this page can be emailed to: hsb2131@columbia.edu
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