Skip to main content

Our Story

This is the story of how the Do Good Institute came to be.

Inspired by their experiences in business, education and philanthropy, Bruce and Karen Levenson hoped to find a university interested in curriculum and programming on philanthropy and nonprofits that would enable college students to make a significant social impact today and for the rest of their lives.

Scroll through the carousel below to see how our history has unfolded. 

Today, thousands of students enroll in 'Do Good' courses each year and compete in the annual Do Good Challenge.

Those experiences spark students who help rescue imprisoned journalists from abroad; raise awareness and implement change surrounding mental health accessibility on campus; build schools for students in Honduras; recycle and supply medications to more than 17,000 people from low-income backgrounds in South America; raise more than $4.2 million for patients at Children’s National Hospital, and advance the development of a device to save the lives of older adults.

“In a very short time, the Do Good Institute has transformed the University of Maryland with opportunities that empower the next generation of nonprofit leaders and with campus-wide experiences aimed at all University of Maryland students with the goal being to ensure that when they graduate they will do so informed and motivated to give back to the communities they choose to make home,” said Levenson.

Numerous Do Good alums quickly earned national and international recognition for their impact. Two recent alumni have been named to Forbes list of Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs Under 30; another alum was named a 2017 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Argentina, and yet another alum named a 2018 Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Finalist. “We are reinventing the college experience by producing a new Do Good Generation that will produce transformational results in Maryland and around the world,” explains Grimm, the founding director of the Do Good Institute and the Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.

The Do Good campus model earned swift international and national recognition including the 2017 Voinovich Public Innovation Prize sponsored by an international association of nearly 300 universities with schools and programs in public policy and public affairs (NASPPA). The University of Maryland also won the 2017 Place Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award recognized Maryland’s excellence in community, social and cultural development work. And thanks to a variety of Do Good campus initiatives, the University of Maryland recently rose to being ranked as one of the top ten innovation and entrepreneurship undergraduate programs in the country by the Princeton Review.

The Do Good Institute continues to grow each year with the support of the School of Public Policy and the University. Maryland students can take undergraduate and graduate nonprofit leadership courses across the university’s colleges and schools; add a minor in nonprofit leadership and social innovation; participate in multiple prize competitions; earn fellowships designed for emerging nonprofit leaders; and grow promising start-ups at the Do Good Accelerator with grants, mentoring and coaching to scale-up students’ ideas.

“Our family is proud to have been there from the start, supporting the Do Good Institute and this ambitious endeavor to transform the University of Maryland into the world’s first Do Good campus," says Karen Levenson. "The innovative approach Maryland is taking will provide us with a new generation of nonprofit leaders and social innovators much better equipped to take on the challenges of our times.”