University of Maryland Launches Transformative Initiative to "Do Good"

University of Maryland Launches Transformative Initiative to "Do Good"

The University of Maryland today launched an ambitious ‘Do Good’ Initiative to create a permanent and visible entity on campus that will become a hub of activity for philanthropy, nonprofit management, public policy, social change and leadership.  A campus-wide initiative headquartered in the School of Public Policy, the program aims to leverage philanthropy and leadership to transform idealism to impact through rich learning experiences built on real-world application.

Do GoodThis cross-campus initiative launches the Do Good Institute to train the next generation of Do Good leaders and establish the University as the first Do Good college campus in the country.

Support for Do Good programs is expected to top $75 million from individual and family philanthropy, state funding, corporate and foundation grants, and university resources.

“The ‘Do Good’ Initiative establishes the University of Maryland as a global leader in advancing social change, philanthropy and nonprofit leadership,” said President Wallace D. Loh.  “We believe that our ‘Do Good campus’ will lead to a ‘Do Good world,’ where we will have a positive impact on all of the world’s citizens.”

The ‘Do Good’ Initiative includes support for:

  • The new Do Good Institute to serve as the campus-wide hub of social innovation and as a center of research and thought leadership in philanthropy and social change.  From orientation to graduation, the Do Good Institute will engage the entire student body in initiatives aimed at ensuring every student will be informed and motivated to “do good” in their communities, both local and worldwide;
  • The new Do Good Accelerator to provide promising Do Good ventures (projects, nonprofits, businesses) with leadership coaching and mentoring, creative community space, networking opportunities, financial support and educational training;
  • Three new faculty endowments to contribute research and further support the School’s new undergraduate major in Public Policy and proposed Nonprofit and Social Change Leadership minor and focus;
  • A new headquarters building for the School of Public Policy and the Do Good Institute.

“This effort builds on the amazing success and impact of the School of Public Policy and its Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and Do Good Challenge,” said Robert Orr, Dean of UMD’s School of Public Policy.  “We are now expanding our programming and outreach to every UMD student in every school and college within our campus.”

Demonstrating the potential of UMD’s scaled-up Do Good Initiative, recent Do Good students have:

  • Sparked a national student movement and new public policies to address food waste through the Food Recovery Network (FRN), which started at UMD and has grown into an award-winning nonprofit headquartered in Maryland with 191 college campus chapters and 1.4 million pounds of food recovered;
  • Raised $100,000+; built multiple schools and developed a long-term partnership between the university and communities in Honduras through UMD’s Students Helping Honduras;
  • Developed the company Hungry Harvest that sells “ugly produce,” is headquartered in Maryland, and earned a $100,000 investment on ABC’s Shark Tank (January 2016);
  • Created Terps Against Hunger, which is mobilizing over a thousand UMD students to package and deliver over one million meals to local food bank partners this year.   

“The Do Good Institute will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world,” said Robert Grimm, Director of the Do Good Institute.  “We are reinventing the college experience by producing a new Do Good Generation that will produce transformational results in Maryland and around the world.”

The Higher Education Research Institute recently reported a fifty-year high in the percentage of students today who say that helping others is a "very important" priority.   The “Do Good” Initiative is built on the tenet that learning is not a passive activity, but instead requires active participation and deep, practical application. With this core value, this effort will help develop the next generation of leaders and spur innovation both on campus and throughout our communities.

What Supporters Are Saying about the Do Good Initiative:

Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., Maryland Senate President
“The University of Maryland is uniquely qualified to educate and inspire the next generation of community and nonprofit leaders.  I believe the unique opportunities created by the Do Good programs will change the lives of students who in turn will make positive change in our State in ways we cannot even imagine.”

Karen Levenson ‘76, University of Maryland College Park Foundation Board of Trustees
“Our family is proud to be among those who support the Do Good Institute and this ambitious endeavor to transform the University into the world's first Do Good campus.  As a former Maryland public school teacher I believe deeply in the power of teaching through meaningful hands-on experiences. The innovative approach UMD is taking will provide us with a new generation of nonprofit leaders and social innovators much better equipped to take on the challenges of our times."

Ben Simon ’14, Food Recovery Network Founder, 2012 Do Good Challenge Winner, and Named by Forbes as one of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30
“The support, resources and encouragement I received from the University of Maryland has been unbelievable.  Food Recovery Network was a dream and they helped make it a reality that’s now a leading national organization in the food recovery and hunger relief movement, with student-run chapters on over 191 college campuses in 40 states.”

Gianna Jackson, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, TIAA
"TIAA is proud to support the work of the Do Good Institute and its focus on social innovation and advancing the field of philanthropy.  Our nonprofit heritage and nearly 100 years of service to the nonprofit community are rooted in our mission to ‘serve those who serve others.’  We look forward to being part of the exciting work of the Do Good Institute and to the positive impact it will have on generations of nonprofit leaders to come."

Michael O’Neill, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
“We are proud to be longtime supporters of the annual Do Good Challenge, and we are thrilled at the creation of the Do Good Institute, which will spark even more young people to develop solutions to the world’s challenges.”

About the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 56 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget, secures $550 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

The University of Maryland is ranked No. 20 among public universities and No. 25 for most innovative schools by U.S. News & World Report, as well as No. 14 among public universities by Forbes. According to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine, UMD is ranked No. 10 overall for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs.

The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-fourth of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit

About the UMD School of Public Policy
The University of Maryland School of Public Policy is an internationally renowned program dedicated to improving public policy and international affairs. It is the only policy school in the Washington, DC area embedded within a major public research university. The school prepares knowledgeable and innovative leaders to make an impact on the profound challenges of the 21st century. Faculty, who are both scholars and practitioners, include the 2005 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; former officials who have held key positions in Democratic and Republican administrations, including U.S. trade representative, undersecretary of defense, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect; and leading researchers in a host of public policy
About the Do Good Institute
Building on the success of the existing programs and cutting-edge work of the School of Public Policy’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Do Good Institute allows the University of Maryland to infuse a culture of philanthropy, innovation, and social change across the university and develop generations of leaders who create innovative ventures and projects that will produce dramatic results in Maryland and around the world.

September 22, 2016

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Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541

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UMD is the only major public research university inside the Washington, DC beltway