Bringing Organizational Psychology to Life Through Fundraising

Penn Law students contributing $36,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation Over a three-year period undergraduates, business students, and law students used principles from organizational psychology to raise over $118,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that gives hope, strength, and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Specifically, students deepened their understanding of five key areas of organizational psychology: leadership, collaboration, networking, negotiation, and prosocial behavior. In one iteration of the activity, for example, teams of four MBA students and three undergraduate students were given two days to create and execute a fundraising plan. After selecting a leader and agreeing on a vision and strategy, the team then held raffles, auctioned signed memorabilia, and convinced local restaurants to donate proceeds. In another iteration, business students developed negotiation expertise by bargaining for corporate donations. And in still another iteration, law students took a week-long intensive course with organizational psychology taught in the morning and team fundraising in the afternoon. These team fundraising activities brought organizational psychology alive, benefited a worthy cause, and gave students a memorable opportunity to express what Abraham Lincoln once described as "the better angels of our nature."

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