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.
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.