Student Association Launches Community Impact Fund

In a move to continue supporting community projects led by HBS students, the Student Association is taking the unprecedented step of creating a dedicated $20,000 fund. The Community Impact Fund will subsidize student-led ventures that positively impact the broader community. The fund’s mission and structure were approved by the Senate last week.

“This is an exciting development for HBS,” said Khary Barnes, Co-President of the Student Association. “Many HBS students are already active in the broader community in Boston, the United States, and around the world. This fund gives the student body, through the Student Association, a way to support and encourage more of this good work.”

Any HBS student can apply to the fund. Projects must “make positive economic and social impact on communities while promoting a positive image of the HBS student body.” As an example of the sort of project that could be eligible for funding, Barnes pointed to the New Orleans Service Trek.

Last year, the Student Association contributed $4,500 towards the costs of 40 students, faculty and staff who traveled to New Orleans to execute a diverse range of projects. HBS students worked with a number of local organizations including Louisiana Association for Non-Profit Organizations, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Dillard University, New Schools for New Orleans and the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. One group canvassed the struggling Middle City neighborhood, developing a survey and proposal for redeveloping a blighted urban commercial corridor. Others counseled underserved students at Dillard, one of the local universities that suffered the most destruction due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“In addition to treks, we want to encourage new and creative projects,” added Jacob Chacko, Student Association Co-President. “Many clubs, sections and even individual students have ideas for projects that would create tremendous social impact but require the sort of financial support that this fund can provide. In some ways, the fund is designed to act as venture capital, allowing new initiatives, with high social returns, to grow.”

The money for the fund comes from the Student Association’s budget, itself made up of student dues and profits from HBS Ventures.

Students interested in applying for support from the fund must submit a one page proposal by November 30th to their section Senator. The Senate will, in consultation with the applicants, select the most worthy projects for support.

“This is the first round of funding that the SA will provide, though we hope to launch a second round before Spring Break. We know that excellent projects take place throughout the year, and we want this fund to encourage and support them,” as stated by Senator Tom Gioia.
Please contact your Section Senator or Community Impact Fund Co-Chairs Senator Tom Gioia or Senator Michon Pinnix.

Q&A on the Community Impact Fund

Who is eligible?
-Current HBS Students only.

How large is the award?
-Per-student award TBD by SA on case-by-case basis

How do students apply?
-Submit 1-page proposal to the SA by 11/30/07 (email proposals to your section Senator)

How does SA approve?
-Majority vote of SA on 12/11/07

Tom Gioia:
Michon Pinnix:
Andrew Graham:

November 19, 2007
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