The AoF spin-off project Pimp My Cause has enjoyed working with Matthew Batstone, co-founder of the New College of the Humanities to deliver a collaborative programme to connect students with live charity briefs that help them build their marketing skills. The article below was orginially published on StreetInsider.com.
Pimp My Cause Puts New College of the Humanities Students in Business
Students at New College of the Humanities have been given live briefs from two organisations - GiveMeTap and International Refugee Trust (IRT) - as part of the unique professional development programme which forms part of their undergraduate experience. The charities were put in touch with NCH through pro bono marketing matching platform Pimp My Cause.
During the 12 week long project, students must develop recommendations and test them using primary research with potential donors and customers. They will then present their thoughts in a written memorandum and Dragons' Den style pitch. For both of these projects, any great ideas generated by the students will be adopted and implemented by the organisations.
The live project, for first-year students on the College's Professional Programme, which is a three-year course developed by NCH to foster behaviours and develop skills that will give NCH graduates a head start in the graduate employment market.
Matthew Batstone, Convenor for the Professional Programme at New College of the Humanities, said: "Although I am expecting some gems, of course, what our students are really getting is vital experience in taking responsibility for a brief, learning how to work together effectively, addressing a real problem, communicating a solution compellingly and becoming comfortable with numbers. These are exactly the skills that industry says it wants."
The Professional Programme includes seminars covering key skills and behaviours including writing and presenting, negotiation, financial literacy, working in teams, marketing, research methods, core principles of strategy, planning and decision-making, and statistics. In addition to the Professional Programme, NCH's Director of Professional Development works with each student as an individual to guide and support them towards a career and future that matches their unique ambitions and strengths.
Edwin Broni-Mensah, Founder, GiveMeTap, said: "GiveMeTap has a straightforward proposition; for every bottle you buy, GiveMeTap gives clean water access to a person in Africa, and when you're thirsty you can fill up your bottle with tap water in outlets signed on to the programme. Less cost for users not having to keep buying bottled water, more footfall for cafes, more waterholes in Africa. But with so much opportunity for this small organisation the challenge for the students is to help GiveMeTap prioritise."
For IRT, the challenge is different. "Over the next five years we want to expand our StepUp programme across northern Uganda, but to do this we need to expand our donor base. We can't just expand on our current donor base so the challenge we face is understanding whom we should target as potential donors and what messages will resonate with them. We are very excited to be working with the students at NCH because they will provide us with invaluable market research that our small charity could never hope to afford. With their research we hope to build a focused fundraising campaign for StepUp," explains Katie Kurilecz, Fundraising and Digital Engagement Executive at IRT.