KU Business
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KU Business

Nonprofit Service Club gives service-oriented students the opportunity to volunteer in their field

A group of passionate business students started a new club on campus to give all students the opportunity to gain experience in the nonprofit sector while contributing their time and talents to the Lawrence community. The Nonprofit Service Club was founded in the spring of 2020 by Emily Hull, James Richey, Savanna Winterman and Belle Antonacci and has since partnered with Habitat for Humanity.

NSC representatives state that their mission is to “bridge the gap between university students and local nonprofit organizations to encourage exploration in nonprofit careers and provide opportunities for professional development in preparation for those careers.”

Several of the founding members, like Savanna Winterman, cite a disconnect between the nonprofit community in Lawrence and the School of Business as their reason for founding the club.

“So many people with business backgrounds end up working in nonprofits, yet there is little recruiting or networking that takes place at the undergraduate level for this career path at KU,” she said. “I also saw how many students have misconceptions about working in nonprofits, and I wanted to help show students that you can make money while working in the nonprofit sector.”

The club’s president, Emily Hull, said that after deciding to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, she found that “there were very few resources for KU students who wanted to pursue nonprofit careers.”

Fueled by this mission, the Nonprofit Service Club has already begun coordinating projects to fulfill their service goals.

The club partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Lawrence for a pilot program this spring. This long-term volunteer opportunity gives students a hands-on chance to learn about nonprofit operations and management. Candidates will work with Habitat for Humanity on several projects including fundraising, data management, research, and eventually, home construction.

Affordable housing constructed by Habitat for Humanity.

There is no degree requirement for the pilot program, and students of any major at KU with an interest in nonprofits can get involved.

The Nonprofit Service Club is currently organizing a donation drive with the Emily Taylor Center and SURGE to collect donations for the Lawrence Community Shelter, Food Not Bombs, and the DARE Center. The group will be collecting hand warmers, socks, gloves, and essential hygiene products for homeless care kits.

When it is safe, the club hopes to organize more in-person volunteer opportunities.

“We are also looking to expand our long-term volunteering programs with more community partners in other service areas beyond affordable housing in the coming semesters,” Hull said.

The club’s faculty advisor, director of Business Career Services Jennifer Jordan, said she is inspired by the enthusiasm and tenacity shown by the club’s founders.

“I have already been impressed with the club’s growth, impact and collaborations,” Jordan said. “I would love to see the Nonprofit Club become a chartered club within the UBC and to develop a strong succession plan for sustainability and continued growth as a lasting student organization.”

Jordan has found that, due to the club’s strong leadership, her role has been minimal.

“It has been a pleasure to watch from the sidelines as they have developed a community of service-minded students that contribute in meaningful ways to the KU and Lawrence communities.”

Students can join the Nonprofit Service Club by joining the club roster on Rock Chalk Central or by sending an email to ku.nonprofitserviceclub@gmail.com. Interested students are also encouraged to keep up with the club on Instagram at @ku.nonprofitserviceclub.

More information on the requirements for the Habitat for Humanity pilot program can be found here. Applications are now open for spring 2021.

The founders of the Nonprofit Service Club are enthusiastic about their new organization.

“I’m so happy to have the opportunity to increase the positive impact our school has on the local community and be a part of a program that is focused on benefiting the lives of those around us and helping students find a career that they are truly passionate about,” Winterman said.

By Meaghan Boyd

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