In 2010, the University of Maryland implemented a groundbreaking philanthropy program. According to Forbes Magazine, it all started when Bruce Levenson, the former owner of the Atlanta Hawks, and his wife Karen approached the university with plans for an initiative that would introduce undergraduates to volunteering and nonprofit organizations. Bruce Levenson funded the projects with an initial donation of $75 million, and the state of Maryland added another $20 million to the total.
The Do Good Project, as it later became known, has two core objectives. The first is to ensure that all graduates of the University of Maryland are informed and motivated to give back to their community. The second objective is to train future nonprofit leaders, and to give them the skills they need to compete against private sector competition.
In an exclusive interview with Benzinga, Bruce Levenson said “Over the years, we found that there were these amazing organizations headed up by extraordinary people that often fell short because these people lacked, frankly, some of the business skills that you need to be successful.” https://www.benzinga.com/news/17/03/9165680/university-of-marylands-non-profit-initiative-is-changing-higher-education
The program began with a very popular Philanthropy 101 course that gave students $10,000 to support a cause of their choosing. Seven years later, the University launched philanthropy major, the first of its kind in America.
The Do Good Project is already making the world a better place. Evan Lutz, a graduate of the University of Maryland and Do Good Project alumni, founded a company called Hungry Harvest. The business helps feed families in need and was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, where a $100,000 deal was made with investor Robert Herjavec.
It’s no surprise that Bruce Levenson chose the University of Maryland to launch the charity initiative. He was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Chevy Chase Maryland. He began his career in journalism at the Washington Star, and co-founded the United Communications Group in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1977. He and his wife are involved in several charity organizations across the globe.