I have just returned from Hyderabad in India where Resource Alliance is partnering with ICFAI Business School (www.ibsindia.org)to establish a foundation course in fundraising for NGOs in the South of India. This is the fifth course we have set up – others are already running in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bubaneshwar.
While I was at IBS I had the pleasure of meeting around 40 MBA students who last year volunteered to do their internships with NGOs, rather than go the usual route of working in a corporate. Interest amongst students in working with the voluntary sector has been growing over the last few years.
One group of students worked with Byrraju Foundation on a range of projects, including the rural tourism and village telecentres mentioned in my previous blog. Others worked on a survey of rural business process outsourcing enterprises and organised a conference to connect the BPOs with businesses. There is now a website listing rural BPOs – www.gramit.in – many of which are run by NGOs. A third group worked with CAP Foundation (www.capfoundation.in) on their employbility training programme, helping to ensure the training being offered matched employers needs, and therefore would attract funding.
In previous years students have worked on projects relating to direct marketing for NGOs including WWF.
One young woman told me that at the start she had been full of trepidation about working for an NGO. But the experience had turned out to be highly rewarding. Another student, a young man, told me he had decided he wanted to work in the voluntary sector as a result of the experiences he had had.
India is well known for the calibre of its business schools and a number now encourage students to work on projects for the social sector. Other countries also have strong business schools. MBA students and faculty can be a useful resource for NGOs, and engaging with them helps bring more young talent into the sector.