Ben Mangan to Lead the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership

Ben Mangan

By Nora Silver, Faculty Director

“We commit to take action.”
That’s the title on the certificate Ben Mangan is holding as he stands beside Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013 (pictured below).

Ben brings that promise of action to his new role as the 2nd executive director of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.  He was chosen from among an exceptionally strong candidate pool. Exciting ideas Ben brings to the Center include:

  • democratizing social entrepreneurship by providing access to Center resources for budding, but still unknown, social entrepreneurs around the globe
  • becoming a regular destination for top talent – inviting visiting fellows from industry to teach and learn with students
  • applying lean launch principles to social start-ups
  • offering groundbreaking social impact convenings and executive education

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Alumni Spotlight – Jennifer Kawar, Director, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Jennifer Kawar

Jennifer Kawar, BS 82

Jennifer Kawar, Haas BS 82, admits that working for the social sector wasn’t her focus while obtaining her undergraduate degree from Haas and her MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

It was after 14 years of experience in the “mainstream” of financial services, working in  business development, underwriting, portfolio management and credit administration for financial institutions like TIAA-CREF, GE Capital and Bank of America, while devoting her energies to family and community, that Jennifer reflected on how she could better use her business education and experience to effect change in the social sector.

Her move into the social sector.

“People with training in accounting and finance have largely been deployed to Wall Street or corporate America, toward managing assets for individuals or corporations that have accumulated wealth,” she said. “I wondered what might be possible if we re-deployed some of that talent to help those who don’t have ready access to capital and financial advice.”

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Community Partner Spotlight – ImpactAssets

Ron Cordes, BS 81, Founder and Board Member

Like many successful new enterprises, ImpactAssets began as a way to address an unmet need. Ron Cordes, Haas BS 81, needed advice on investing the assets of his new family foundation. He quickly fell into what he calls the “5% – 95% conundrum”. Advisors pushed the foundation to have a grant budget equal to 5% of its assets and invest the rest. “Why can’t we have an impact with our other 95%?” Ron pushed back. The answer to that question led to ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services company whose mission is to build the field of impact investing and provide investment opportunities to a wide range of investors.

Ron Cordes, BS 81

Ron Cordes, BS 81

ImpactAssets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public entity designed to be a field builder and to create an ecosystem to benefit the field and the public at large. It is also a financial services company committed to being financially accountable with a sustainable revenue model based on earned income. It manages $150 million in assets, having surpassed an initial goal of $100 million last year. It engages the field in two main ways;

  1. acting as a catalyst, promoter and supporter of impact investing, and
  2. democratizing impact investing by providing financial products accessible to small investors.

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Today, dog collars. Tomorrow, hibiscus leaves. Kory Caro’s impactful summer.


Kory Caro learns about winemaking at Brooks Winery in rural Oregon. Courtesy of the Haas Achieves blog.

Few MBAs get to deep-dive into winemaking, dog collars, running a tea bar, and a subscription box service, all in one summer. This is the challenge that Kory Caro, MBA 15, is taking on with his internship with MBAs Across America, a nonprofit startup that sends teams of business students around the country to connect with entrepreneurs for week-long consulting projects. Why this internship and not one with a big brand name attached to it?

“It doesn’t seem fair that [most MBA] education doesn’t go to help small businesses, which are the lifeblood of jobs in this country,” Kory explains.

MBAs Across America gives business students the opportunity to work with small business owners while learning more about the realities of running a company. Kory’s journey has brought him and his teammates to Brooks Winery in rural Oregon, Sola Cafe and Red Tractor Pizza in Montana, Bold Lead Designs in Colorado, Ellis Island Tea in Michigan, and Batch in Tennessee (so far). All of these are chronicled through the team’s blog posts.

Kory and his teammates at Ellis Island Tea in Detroit, MI. Courtesy of MBAs Across America.

Kory and his teammates at Ellis Island Tea in Detroit, MI. Courtesy of MBAs Across America.

Kory was selected as one of our Haas Social Impact Fund Fellows for 2014 due to his commitment to using his business education to have a positive social impact. “Our team particularly wanted to focus on women and minorities,” he says. “I was a small business owner … so this is an opportunity to combine the tools that Haas has given me with real-life experiences to help people who are just like me.” Every year, the Haas Social Impact Fund selects students interested in using their internships to work with nonprofit and social enterprises or public agencies. The program is funded mostly by current Haas MBA students, who divert a small part of their summer salaries to support their classmates.

Find out more about how to get involved in the Haas Social Impact Fund.

Learn more about Kory’s adventure across the states at the Haas Achieves blog.


In the Bay Area, Entities in Each Sector Are Incubating Positive Social Change

By Katherine Murtha

There is no one sector that is incubating social change today.

That’s because entities in each sector have the potential to make an impact. Even more impactful are projects created by the collaboration of two or more sectors. Leaders who want to make a difference must develop skills to work across sectors, be willing to blur sector divisions, and recognize solutions regardless of the sector that originated them.

In December, the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership’s executive director Nora Silver wrote about two leaders who addressed humanitarian crises abroad by working across sectors, connecting nonprofit, business, and government resources to areas in need. She described how after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Patrick Meier shared nonprofits’ crowd-sourced data with radio stations to direct aid to earthquake victims. Since each sector can create unique solutions, she suggested it is important for leaders not to discount other sectors, but rather to develop facility with working across sectors to maximize impact.

In our lectures and research, the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership emphasizes the need to develop these cross-sector skills. These skills are embedded in classes like Social Sector Solutions, where students do consulting projects for nonprofit and social enterprise clients.

Here in the Bay area, there are plenty of examples of innovators working in all sectors to promote community development and enable local communities to thrive.

In a government-nonprofit partnership, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control run an Animal Bonding program where inmates develop empathy and “learn how to accept responsibility for the care of others” while caring for dogs, cats, and birds. Rountree Minimum Facility reports that the program benefits inmates by providing them with the “therapeutic…intimacy bond produced from connecting with the animal(s). The bond helps reduce antisocial behavior by increasing the inmates’ capacity for empathy.” Society as a whole functions better when inmates develop socio-emotional skills before returning to their communities.

Innovators spanning all sectors were surfaced by a competition – Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change, held by Ashoka Changemakers and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. With the intention of identifying outside-the-box ideas, the competition Continue reading