GBF introduced the the Responsible Leadership Fund (RLF) in the 2010 year to further their mission and extends its ability to inspire responsible leadership and global citizenship among the student leaders of the top 50+ graduate business programs worldwide.
Over the past 30 years, the GBF has observed scores of student-led initiatives and innovative programs that offer profound benefits to their graduate business schools and communities. Yet, with the demands of a one- or two-year graduate program and a concurrent job search, many leaders are unable to fully institutionalize their programs beyond their graduation. Though the GBF provides best practice sharing platforms via the Graduate Business Conference and the President’s Network, student leaders often have insufficient resources to create and disseminate the materials needed to scale programs (and their benefits) to other campuses.
GBF’s Responsible Leadership Fund addresses this problem by actively seeking out student leaders who have developed innovative programs benefitting the greater community and need assistance in seeing their visions come to fruition.
The GBF 2012 Responsible Leader Award was bestowed upon a team of 4 student leaders from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Angela Behnken, Shilpa Arya, Carter Posey and Chris Chandler for establishing the Georgia Tech MBA Community Fund. As a result of three life changing events within Georgia Tech’s MBA community, this student led initiative recognizes the value of support and community during times of crisis. With no institutionalized program to support its community in need, the group overcame the challenges to establish this Fund and successfully initiate sustainable requests for funding. Their tenacity led them to create an annual allotment protocol to subsidize the Fund in addition to initiatives to receive contributions from students, faculty, staff and alumni and establish a legacy program with which to support each other in times of need.
Robert Seiler, Eric Seidner and Alex Song from China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) were presented with the GBF 2011 Responsible Leadership Award and a Cisco and Thomson Reuters sponsored $2000 grant for their vision and delivery of a strategy and five year business plan to make CEIBS the first 100% carbon neutral business school in the world.
The Grant Program
The Responsible Leadership Fund enables student leaders to institutionalize and/or scale student initiatives that demonstrate Sustainability and/or Social Responsibility. Our grants will support graduate business student efforts to innovate in these two primary areas and contribute lasting benefits to local communities and/or to the extended network of 50+ GBF member graduate business schools worldwide.
We fund projects that:
- Reduce/minimize impact on biophysical resources and the Earth’s ecosystems.
- Proactively promote the public interest by providing essential community services, encouraging community growth and development, and/or eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality.
- Foster a greater sense of social responsibility and volunteerism on campus.
- Promote community resident participation and engagement as a sustaining force.
- Serve as models for other institutions and/or student leaders.
Program Grant Categories:
Responsible Leadership Fund grants will cover innovative programs that fulfill a need in one of the following categories:
- Sustainability: Programs that reduce/minimize the population’s impact on biophysical resources and the Earth’s ecosystems. This includes programs that examine the complex ways in which resources are being used, the renewability of these resources, and the scale of human activity relative to the carrying capacity of the ecosystems involved. Programs should emphasize communities, work organizations, the consumption patterns of households and individuals, and the resource demands of individual goods and services. Consideration will also be given to well-documented initiatives that can impact braoder economic sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and industry.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Programs that proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and/or eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. This encompasses the deliberate inclusion of the greater community into the beneficial activities of the business school community. Programs can also include initiatives that seek out corporate participation and/or benefit populations and/or communities in remote areas. Remote programs will require the grant writer’s ability to demonstrate need, program benefit, logistics capabilities, expected outcomes, and performance measurement.
Program Activities Supported:
RLF program grants target four specific activities:
- Help scale a pilot program to full potential within the target community, including funds to help drive coordination/collaboration with corporate sponsors, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Applicants will need to demonstrate the viability of the pilot program, a pro-forma budget for scale-up, critical sucess factors, performance metrics, and accountability.
- Help institutionalize a successful program (proof of concept required) within the target community. This includes financial support for full documentation of organization design, fundraising, operating policies and procedures, timelines, critical success factors, best practices, recruitment, performance tracking, academic case studies, and/or publicity.
- Help scale a successful program as a “best practice” across business school communities. This includes – but is not limited to – full documentation of organization design, fundraising, operating policies and procedures, timelines, critical success factors, best practices, recruitment, performance tracking, academic case studies, and/or publicity. Grants of this type will require proof of concept in the grant application. Recipients will be required to present the funded program to the assembled student leaders at the annual Graduate Busines Conference, distribute materials to interested schools, and provide follow-up support sufficient to help replicate the initiative on other campuses.
- Help scale the program by creating a permanent “global progam office” either within the GBF or the grant writer’s school and launching program “chapters” at participating schools. Proof of concept is required. This includes development of an organization design, fundraising, operating policies and procedures, timelines, critical success factors, best practices, recruitment, performance tracking, academic case studies, and/or publicity. Grants of this type will require presentation of the funded program to the assembled student leaders at the annual Graduate Busines Conference, distribution of materials to interested schools, and follow-up support sufficient to help implement chapters on other campuses.