By Andrew Scarpaci
When stepping into the corporate world, there is more to it than just capitalizing on business ventures. There are also corporate social responsibilities, like donating portions of profits to charities. Students in Dr. Nada Kobeissi’s business and society course are learning this through a fundraising project, where they have the opportunity to fundraise for charities of their choice.
Dr. Kobeissi has been teaching this course for 15 years, and began the charity project seven years ago. She believes corporations need to “trade their current business model of stockholders’ profit maximization with a more enlightened business approach.”
Phillip Lutz, an alumnus and one of Dr. Kobeissi’s former students, founded the Waridi Kenya Trust, an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged families in Kenya. Since 2015, students in the class have raised a total of $6,144 for the trust.
This semester, Dr. Kobeissi allowed her students to fundraise for a charitable organization of their choice. To help with this process, she used Global Giving, a website that allows users to find and donate to charity projects all around the world.
Dr. Kobeissi found a trend in what students’ interests are and the organizations they choose. “I have a couple of student-athletes who selected to raise funds for a project in Haiti that focuses on teaching young kids education and sport,” she said. “Others are choosing projects that focus on the environment, or planting trees to combat global warming, etcetera.”
Jordan Goldsher, a senior business administration major, is fundraising for teamtrees.org. “Their mission is to plant 20 million trees by January 2020,” he said.
Goldsher initially felt nervous being as-signed the project because he wasn’t sure if he could find a cause that would excite him. “We were given a specific website to look at different charities helping different causes, but there were thousands to choose from,” he said. Goldsher chose to donate to teamtrees.org because the environment, and the animals that live within it, are all suffering from deforestation.
Goldsher and his group sold cookies to help raise money for TeamTrees. Goldsher said he learned a lot through this fundraiser. “Working on this project has definitely opened my eyes when it comes to raising awareness for a cause that’s as wholehearted as this one,” he said. “All it takes is a little bit of effort and only $1 to help save the planet.”
Owen Gold, a freshman business management major, raised money for the Lynn Sage Foundation, a charity dedicated to funding breast cancer research. Gold and his group donated to the “Help Find a Cure for Breast Cancer” campaign, which aims to raise $100,000 to fund a scholar’s breast cancer research.
Gold chose the Lynn Sage Foundation because his life was personally affected by breast cancer. “[I] was extremely interested in this organization because one of my childhood friends was a victim of breast cancer and unfortunately passed,” he said. “My mother also had breast cancer but was fortunately lucky enough to overcome it.”
Gold said it was interesting for the university to center a project around charity. “It is nice to see community involvement being incorporated in our education,” he said. His group originally wanted to fundraise by giving out pink ribbons, the symbol for breast cancer awareness, to students on campus. However, they had trouble getting permission to host the event on campus, so instead, they decided to raise money by asking local businesses for donations.