When you successfully run an NBA franchise for a number of years, what can you aim to do next? asks Forbes Magazine. Bruce Levenson, the former owner of the Atlanta Hawks and the founding chairman of UCG, has moved on from his world in professional sports in order to try and change things through the power of philanthropy. Specifically, it looks like Levenson is taking aim at the University of Maryland in order to fund an initiative to create an entire generation of givers, see https://www.benzinga.com/news/17/03/9165680/university-of-marylands-non-profit-initiative-is-changing-higher-education. Levenson has been integral in establishing the ‘Do Good Institute’ at the University of Maryland. What is that, you may be wondering, well let’s get down to it.
Bruce Levenson knows that you can’t just give your money away and expect the world to change. Instead, you have to help cultivate a culture that puts value on giving back to the community. That is what brought Bruce and his wife, Karen, to the University of Maryland with the concept of the ‘Do Good Institute’. The Levenson’s decided to donate $75 million in seed money in order to start structuring a class and curriculum that focused on philanthropy. The state of Maryland threw in an additional 20 million and now the school is ready to rock and roll.
The first class offered in the ‘Do Good Institute’ curriculum is Philantrophy 101. While the class sounds fairly vanilla just from the title, we can attest that there is much more going on within the walls of the classroom. Philanthropy 101 focuses on giving the student body $10,000 to allocate to charities and causes of their choice. The aim of the class is to teach students how to bring about change in a real and tangible way.
The aim of the Do Good Institute is to help transform the University of Maryland into one of the premier ‘giving’ campuses in the country. The second goal is to get the students at Maryland to become the next generation of philanthropic leaders. Thanks to Bruce Levenson’s work, both goals seem very possible.