Harbus Foundation Awards $60,000 to Support Local Community Organizations

For more than a decade, the Harbus Foundation has helped support local non-profit organizations that tackle problems faced by the community right in HBS’s backyard.  With many non-profits facing a difficult fundraising environment due to the economy, the mission of the Harbus Foundation is even more relevant at this moment.  This year, Harbus Foundation teams are proudly awarding $60,000 to support the missions of a diverse set of local community organizations – from after-school sports and debate programs for youth to literacy programs for adults and new immigrants.

Beyond its immediate mission, the organization also provides MBA students with real-world experience in managing a philanthropic foundation.  The hope is that students will carry forward this experience and remain involved in philanthropy throughout their lifetimes, as well as encourage others to bring attention to issues faced by their local communities.

HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION //www.replicaforbest.co.uk/replica-breitling-watches-sale-for-uk.html

The Harbus News Corporation found itself in an enviable position in 1997.  Years of operating surpluses at the non-profit organization that publishes the HBS campus newspaper had accumulated to nearly $700,000.    Rebecca Knowles Braun (HBS ’98), chair of the corporation’s board during her EC year, set a goal to figure out what to do with this cash.

Board members saw no o

bvious answer to Braun’s challenge.  Ideas were plentiful and debate ensued.  Should The Harbus start paying its editors and writers?  What about building a facility instead of depending on Harvard administration for space? Or, how about switching from newsprint to a higher-quality paper?  Eventually, the chosen idea was to establish the Harbus Foundation, the country’s first and only foundation run by MBA students.

This pool of excess cash would be invested, and returns would be given out in the form of grants to organizations in the greater Boston area that pursue social change through programs in the areas of education, literacy, and journalism.  Since its establishment, the Harbus Foundation has funded nearly $1 million of community projects in these three areas.  All aspects of the foundation—from the trustees who oversee it to the committee which invests the endowment to the groups that award grants—are operated by volunteer HBS students.

OUR WORK THIS YEAR replica watches

This year, over 25 Harbus Foundation members formed into six working teams, each with a different objective and focus area.  Four grant-making teams focused on evaluating and selecting local non-profits to each receive a $10,000 Harbus Foundation grant.  Another two teams focused on providing venture philanthropy, where students worked closely with each organization’s leadership on a specific project– essentially as a consulting service – and awarded the organization a $10,000 grant.

Each team first selected an area of focus from the Harbus Foundation’s mission: education, literacy and journalism.  Teams then defined a set of core criteria by which to screen potential organizations, such as target constituency of the organization, stage of growth, and overall mission.  Based on these criteria, teams developed a long list of candidate organizations and then reached out to them individually to solicit applications.

To further inform the evaluation process, teams conducted individual site visits in February and early March with each of the finalists.  The site visits allowed Harbus Foundation team members to speak with each organization’s leadership and volunteers and also see each program in action.  Upon completion of the site visits, Harbus Foundation teams then selected the award recipients.

The two teams which undertook venture philanthropy projects engaged in this selection process as well as defined project scopes during the fall semester.  Since January, they have been working intimately with the organizations to complete their projects – by meeting with management, conducting outside research and benchmarking, and facilitating o

perations and marketing processes.

The Harbus Foundation is proud to announce the 2010-2011 Harbus Foundation grant and venture philanthropy recipients.  The Harbus Foundation teams will present all grant recipients and venture philanthropy recipients with their respective awards at a ceremony on Thursday, April 21, at 4:00 pm in Hawes 101.   All from the HBS community are welcome to attend.
If you are interested in getting involved in the Harbus Foundation or one of the award recipients below, please contact the Harbus Foundation Trustees, Diana Dosik  (OI) ddosik@mba2011.hbs.edu, Anushri Mainthia (OH) amainthia@mba2011.hbs.edu, or Tessie Shih (OA) tshih@mba2011.hbs.edu.


  1. 1. Debate Mate USA

Mission:  Based on the highly successful Debate Mate UK, helps youth from low-income areas develop communication and critical thinking skills through after-school debate and leadership programs.

Target constituents: Middle school students from at-risk and under-resourced areas in Boston.

Use of funds: To support its pilot program in seven Boston Public School middle schools from March to May of 2011, which will require training of undergraduates from Harvard College, Brandeis and other local universities to support the after-school program. The program aims to expand to 20 schools for the 2011-12 academic year.
2.    International Institute of Boston

Mission:  To provide pathways to self-sufficiency for new Americans through refugee resettlement, case management, job training, ESOL, literacy, immigration, legal and financial lite

racy programs.

Target constituents: Immigrants who have recently obtained US citizenship as well as non-citizen residents and other vulnerable populations.

Use of funds: To expand the innovative English-language learning model that combines in-class instruction with distance learning via the Internet in order to help immigrants balance job and family commitments with obtaining access to English education

  1. 3. Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts

Mission:  To help improve literacy skills and literacy confidence of adults in order to allow them to pursue a better life and opportunities through free, confidential and individualized tutoring.

Target constituents: Adults in the Boston community who seek to improve their literacy skills.

Use of funds: To further develop and enhance a software program that can provide additional practice and training for students to complement their work with tutors.

  1. 4. SquashBusters

Mission:  To “nurture urban youth so that they recognize and fulfill their full potential.”  SquashBusters provides a rigorous program of squash instruction and games, academic lessons, life skills lessons, and community service.

Target constit

uents: Youth from Boston middle and high schools in at-risk and under-resourced areas.  Students enter the program in grade 6 and continue on through completion of high school and beyond.

Use of funds: Funds will support two projects:  1. Further enhancement of a summer program to prepare students for the transition from middle school to high school, as well as the transition from high school to college.  2.  Development of a Middle School Literacy project that seeks to nurture a “pro-reading culture” among students beyond the academic environment in order to develop good, lifelong reading habits.


  1. 1. Breakthrough Cambridge

Mission:  To improve educational equity by inspiring excitement for learning, creating paths to college, and promoting careers in education through a year-round, tuition-free academic program.

Target constituents: Students from at-risk and under-resourced middle and high schools in Cambridge.

Project scope: To contribute to Breakthrough Cambridge’s preparation for its 20th anniversary by enhancing external communications and fundraising.  Harbus Foundation grant funds will support the leadership team to undertake professional development opportunities to enhance the fundraising capabilities through attendance at seminars hosted by organizations such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  The Harbus Foundation team will also assist in the production of marketing materials for corporate prospecting and events promotion in order to improve fundraising results.

  1. 2. More Than Words

Mission:  To empower youth to take charge of their lives by learning to constructively work in groups and manage a business. Youth learn to run an online bookselling enterprise with a retail book store, including a café and a community space for more social activities. In addition, participants develop a “YOU” project where they set personal, educational and professional goals for the future.

Target constituents: Youth who are currently involved in adverse situations, such as in foster care, homeless, out-of-school or court-involved.

Project scope: To help expand the current program as MTW begins operations at a new site. The Harbus Foundation team will help the organization to increase the donation base which funds goods, such as CDs, DVDs and video games, which are sold in the youth-run store.


April 11, 2011
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