The bi-annual Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge is a one-week leadership course at the outset of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management’s MBA program designed to teach leadership through experience and instill students a lasting sense of leaders’ social responsibility beyond their organizations. As part of this program, WHU MBA students have raised approximately €420,000 for charity projects since its establishment in 2016. Founded with the goal of promoting leadership skills and social responsibility, funds raised over the course of the one-week benefit exclusively support world renowned charitable organizations.
In essence, students work in small teams with the help of an MBA mentor to perform new and challenging tasks each day. The real-world hurdles teams face on a daily basis range from product development to digital marketing campaigns. The course promotes competitive comradery and provides participants with the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of leadership firsthand, all whilst embracing the WHU entrepreneurial spirit to work toward a common goal.
Prof. Dr. Nadine Kammerlander, Chair of Family Business and Diversity Director launched the challenge week by addressing the extraordinary strategic environment resulting from the pandemic: “We want you to learn not only to tolerate but to actually thrive through uncertainty. This is something that you will never forget and something that you most certainly can also transfer to your business setting later on.” This year’s challenge, held the last week of March, included a parallel “Negotiation Challenge” supported by three important corporate donors – FTI-Andersch, UPS, and Zoom. Each of these corporate donors pledged €2,000 to the cause and virtually invited our students onto their premises to negotiate with them for a share of these donations.
Including corporate and individual donations, the current cohort of MBA students raised €25,410.50 for a Welthungerhilfe project with the aim to provide school lunches for students in Burundi in order to boost school attendance and performance through locally sourced meals.
Team “Awesome Aardvarks”, with the slogan, “Give every child an opportunity to grow“ was the overall course winner for this Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge. The team’s contributions of €5,621 aided in bringing in the largest ever donations for a Spring intake, particularly impressive considering the event had to take place virtually due to the pandemic-related restrictions.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Weigand, Associate Dean of WHU, encouraged participants, “You decided to embark on an MBA program, despite the pandemic and despite all the craziness going on right now. And I can tell you, you made the right decision. There is no better time than today.” The WHU community looks forward to the next FLFC and welcomes the newest crop of MBA students to the school!
Find this year's challenge in a video here.