AJU’s Graduate School in Nonprofit Management (GSNM) kicked off the new school year by offering MBA students an exceptional opportunity to participate in grant funding while at the same time, helping to reduce hunger in our community. What made this so unique? Three elements: MAZON, a prominent nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths, for the first time, invited a graduate school to partner in launching a new initiative, the first annual Innovation Fund Planning Grant. It is highly unusual for MBA students, who will most likely be requesting grants in the future, to have the opportunity to participate in the grant funding process. And perhaps most significant, this collaboration will translate into helping develop innovative programs to alleviate hunger and promote nutrition.
MAZON proposed to fund grants of up to $5,000 to organizations that could substantively develop an innovative idea and produce a well-designed plan that outlines the issues of hunger and nutrition in our community. To apply, the organization had to be a 501(C) (3), meet the August 12, 2011 deadline and be available to attend a community award presentation at AJU on September 14, 2011.
Working in teams, the MBA students reviewed the top six submitted proposals and, after receiving specialized training in the evaluative process, made their determinations as to the winning grantees. This was an invaluable experience for those with careers in nonprofit management, as it provided the students with the opportunity to learn firsthand the determining factors for how grant funding is awarded.
This project is a reflection of the caliber of AJU’s Graduate School in Nonprofit Management and its groundbreaking programs. The graduate school has distinguished itself from all others by combining theory with practical experience, specific to nonprofits in areas such as marketing, fundraising, financing and accounting, and by producing leaders who masterfully manage and create change within the nonprofit world. For more information about AJU’s Graduate School of Nonprofit Management visit www.ajula.edu/mba.