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The Social Impact Lab is committed to sharing meaningful social change learning opportunities with as many people as possible. Since everyone can’t take our semester-long courses, we’ve developed several intensive 1 to 3-day models for teaching about social justice, systems thinking, and ethical and effective grant making. We call these events Social Impact-athons.

What is a Social Impact-athon?

Modeled after Northeastern Students4Giving, our hallmark experiential philanthropy program, our Social Impact-athons challenge students to learn about urgent social challenges, vulnerable communities, and the nonprofit organizations serving them. Equipped with systems thinking fundamentals, a social justice lens, and SIL’s RISE Framework for assessing nonprofit organizations’ relevance, impact, sustainability, and excellence in management and operations, participants collaboratively award real-dollar grants to one or more of the participating organizations. The difficult decision-making process requires participants to confront the practical and ethical implications of controlling scarce resources in the face of immense need.

Multiple Models

Social Impact-athon on Environmental Justice (January 2019)

Our first Social Impact-athon engaged 70 undergraduate and graduate students in a 3-day, team-based event resulting in $66,000 being awarded to Boston-area nonprofits addressing social injustice.

Social Impact-athon Mumbai (February 2020)

Our first international Social Impact-athon was a kick-off event to Northeastern’s Global Leadership Conference. We partnered with EdelGive Foundation and our Young Global Leaders alumni group to nonprofit organizations supporting women and girls in India.

Virtual Social Impact-athon: COVID-19 Response (May 2020)

Philanthropy on the Field (December 2018)