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Our Mission

campusCATALYST is an University of Chicago RSO that partners with college and business school students in high-impact pro bono consulting for nonprofit organizations.

Theory of Change

In the Chicago area alone, over 5,000 college students are pursuing degrees in business, economics, social policy and other related fields. In the classroom, these future leaders are honing their minds to address the social ills of tomorrow; however, campusCATALYST believes that they can and should take action today.

With a support network of the country’s top professors, business school students, and professional consultants as mentorsstudents will not only be able to provide tangible solutions for nonprofits, but they will be able to take part in a rich social entrepreneurship experience. Through program participation, campusCATALYST hopes to demonstrate to students how career and commitment to community can be one and the same.

campusCATALYST’s aims are three-fold:

  1. Provide student leaders with the tools and opportunity to drive change

  2. Improve nonprofits’ capacity and effectiveness

  3. Create a more coherent social service network in communities

We will accomplish this by:

  • Increasing student exposure to and engagement in the social sector

  • Cultivating cross-sectoral leaders

  • Empowering students to be agents of social change

  • Building capacity of local nonprofits

  • Bridging the gap between undergraduate students and MBA candidates

  • Connecting students with professional community

  • Connecting nonprofits to one another

our approach

Our approach: In the middle of each quarter, 25 students are chosen from a selective interview process to serve as community analysts for the following quarter. Students are placed into groups of 5 to work with 5 nonprofits. The Board's client liaisons work with the nonprofits to draft the initial project scope that these groups use as a jumping off point. Additionally, each group is assigned a Booth or Harris mentor to guide them through the quarter. In addition to the consulting projects, students learn more broadly about nonprofits through their enrollment in "The Business of Nonprofits: The Evolving Social Sector." At the end of each quarter, students present a summary of their project scope, methodology, key findings and recommendations in a final presentation and deliverable. Students can remain engaged with campusCATALYST by applying to serve as a Board member, participating in the case competition or attending an cC alumni event.

Our Impact

By the end of the 2009-2010 academic year, cC had engaged with nearly 400 college students, 85 MBA mentors and 75 nonprofit clients, generating nearly $600,000 worth of pro-bono investment in the Chicago area.


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