HBS Philanthropy Fund

The Harvard Business School Club of Northeastern Ohio maintains a fund whose purpose is to provide financial support for philanthropic club projects and community projects that promote or improve business and economic education in Northeast Ohio.

The Fund provides funding annually for some programs created and run by the Club, including the Leadership Award, the Dively Entrepreneurship Award, The Elliott Economics Teacher Award, and the William Jones Excellence in School Management Award. For the community at large, the fund is focused on projects that enhance economic and business education, providing start-up capital or bridge funding until permanent revenue streams are found. The fund especially encourages scalable ideas, which can achieve wide and meaningful impact.

Two Club committees oversee the fund: the Investment Committee manages the investments and the Philanthropy Committee evaluates and selects projects; after board approval of projects, disburses funds and monitors results. The Philanthropy Committee annually grants approximately 5% of a rolling three-year average balance of the fund, currently about $150,000 per year. Project grants typically range from $2,500 to $25,000. The Philanthropy Committee meets monthly, September through May. Applications may be submitted at any time and are considered as received.  Impact reports are expected by the end of the project year.

Projects with the following attributes are preferred:

  • Promote business education in Northeastern Ohio with measurable long-term impact.
  • Require start-up funding rather than long-term support. The fund does not customarily make awards to the general revenue pool of an organization, regardless of its mission.
  • Are affiliated with well-run organizations that plan to sustain the program without long term support from the Fund.
  • Use the award for direct service rather than administrative activities.
  • Have HBS NEO Club member involvement with the project or the sponsor organization. Projects that reach large numbers of people will receive special consideration.
  • Contain innovative elements such as greater efficiency or new uses of technology, even if there is significant risk of failure.