On April 20, 35 members of HBS’ Harbus Foundation, HBS’ student-run foundation focused on creating impact on the greater Boston community, came together to honor, celebrate and bestow non-profit organizations with seven $10,000 grants. After many months of rigorous and exhaustive application reviews, heated debates and repeated site visits, seven Harbus grantmaking teams focusing on different sectors ranging from adult education to charter schools, completed the arduous task of selecting a winner. Winners were selected based on a number of criteria including the past track record the organization has had in successfully achieving its goals, the level of need for funding and the depth and breadth of impact the grant would directly have on the community it served.
This year, the winning organizations range from the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center to Minds Matter of Boston, a non-profit organization that helps promising high school students from low-income families achieve academic excellence. In a brief interview, Ian Lane, Co-Director of Minds Matter of Boston, one of the winning recipients, shared with the Harbus management team the following perspective:
What does the $10,000 grant from HF mean for MM?
“Minds Matter of Boston is a 100% volunteer organization so the entire $10,000 will go directly to fund scholarships to send our students to summer college preparatory programs. The Harbus Foundation’s generous contribution to our scholarship fund will allow our students to attend high quality summer programs that will ultimately open up immeasurable opportunities for the students, including acceptance to a four-year college. Broadly, the funds will allow Minds Matter of Boston to accomplish its goal of placing inner-city Boston high school students on a realistic path to a college education.”
What did you think about the HF grant selection process?
“The Harbus Foundation was sincerely interested in our organization. They really dug deep and gained an intimate understanding for the role Minds Matter plays in expanding educational opportunities for the Boston community. They analyzed our past results and more importantly took time to understand our potential and the impact that their grant could have on our organization and ultimately on the Boston community.”
What advice would you give to future non-profits/orgs applying for a HF grant?
“The Harbus Foundation wants their grants to make an impact in the community. When applying for an HF grant, be specific about how the funds will be used within your organization. Demonstrate how the HF Grant funds will be used to produce tangible results and/or expand the reach of your organization.”
In addition to Minds Matter of Boston, the following organizations were recipients of the grant:
– Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (Venture Philanthropy)
– Teen Voices (Venture Philanthropy)
– Generations, Inc. (Literacy)
– Solutions At Work (Community and Parenting)
– Minds Matter of Boston (After School and Mentoring)
– Conservatory Lab Charter School (Charter School)
– W.A.I.T.T. House (ESL and Adult Education – split grant)
– Notre Dame Education Center (ESL and Adult Education – split grant)
“We are really excited about the winners…it is inspiring to hear about the work that these organizations do on such a small budget. Being part of a Harbus Foundation grant team is such a great opportunity to get to know a section of the local nonprofit industry really well.” stated Kweilin Moore (OJ), an outgoing trustee.
Founded in 1997, Harbus Foundation focuses on a two-fold mission: to have positive social impact in the communities around Harvard Business School and to educate HBS students about philanthropy. Since 1997, over 250 students have been involved in the grant-making process and over 50 grants have been awarded to needy organizations around the greater Boston community. Harbus Foundation is entirely student run and is advised by Professor Bob Higgins. To learn more about the organization, its grant-making process or to get involved, contact www.Harbusfoundation.org