Lycoming College makes non-profit organizations its business

Lycoming College - Williamsport, PA

Lycoming College - Williamsport, PA

Dr. Neil Boyd, assistant professor of business administration at Lycoming College, introduced a new concept to his management and organizational behavior class last fall, which contributed a net benefit of $25,000 to the Lycoming County community in one semester.To determine the net benefit the groups produced as a whole, cash expenses were deducted and cash revenues, estimated consulting services, donations and other benefits were added. Most proceeds resulted from the various services conducted by the students including meeting with organization heads, determining marketing plans, coordinating advertising efforts, evaluating managerial processes and conducting a business plan.

“The movement of service learning is growing in academia in all sorts of departments,” Boyd said. “But, it has been slow in business. We need to know about non-profits and we need to be concerned.”

Once again, Boyd is dedicating his 200-level management class to the needs of others. Lycoming students enrolled in the class were broken up into small groups and asked to act as a consulting firm. After a series of tasks including deciding on a team name, and designing a logo and business cards, the groups were assigned to an individual non-profit organization in the area.

“It came to me as a conglomeration of a variety of ideas,” Boyd said, who referenced a variety of programs conducted by competitors of Lycoming College, including Bucknell University’s management program. From this brainstorming, he decided to combine many different aspects of action learning with service learning.

“I don’t know anyone who does it the way we do it,” Boyd said. “I’m dedicated to action learning; learning by doing, not just for the sake of learning.”

After the inaugural year’s trial run produced such a large amount of money for the area’s non-profit organizations, Boyd was eager to continue his studies this fall with a new semester of fresh students equipped with another batch of innovative ideas.

“I was very happy with the benefits we provided last fall,” Boyd said. “I think we’re going to deliver some good outcomes this year. I expect us to beat that number by quite a bit.”

Not only does Boyd feel he’s successfully teaching the students the crucial information of his class in a new and improved way, he’s satisfied with the level of devotion the students give to the project and the amount of input the organizations graciously accept.

“I think we’re bringing something really great to these organizations,” Boyd said. “They’re getting a kind of help they otherwise may not have access to. I’ve received so many glowing comments from the organizations and everyone was so appreciative of the help we’ve provided.”

Although organizations may not have many ways to say “thanks” to all the hard work the students contributed in the past, the experience itself has managed to give back.

“This experience is something students can put on their resumes,” Boyd said. “Some organizations even offered students jobs after the project.”

Overall, the students are learning, in a new, interesting way, while actually making a difference in the Lycoming County community.

“If you look at our competitors, they’re not doing this,” said Boyd. “This is something unique to Lycoming College and it’s great.”

Events coordinated by Lycoming students are as follows:

Nov. 3-6, the American Red Cross and student volunteers will “Paint the Strip Red” to help raise funds for disaster relief. Residents of the community are encouraged to pick up coupons at the Red Cross’s office, 302 E. Third St., that can be used to donate a portion of their bill at the following restaurants on the specified date to the Red Cross: Monday, Pizza hut donated 20 percent of each bill, Tuesday, Hoss’s donated 20 percent, Wednesday, Bonanza donated 10 percent, and Thursday, TGI Friday’s donated 15 percent towards disaster relief.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., Habitat for Humanity will be having “Chilly Challenge,” an event to build awareness for the workers of Habitat, dedicated to the building of homes for those in need all year long. Long-sleeved shirts will be offered for sale. Cardboard box “jails,” housing local personnel, will be used to raise awareness of sub-standardized housing. The members placed in “jails” for the night will only be released through “bail” or a “kind-hearted donation.”

At 7:30 p.m. Nov 10, jazz singer Lisa Simone will be performing at the Community Arts Center, to support the Public Art Academy.

From 4 to 8 p.m., Nov. 15, there will be “A Night for Paws,” a basket raffle in Lycoming College’s Pennington Lounge to support the Lycoming Animal Protection Society, a no-kill cat shelter in Lycoming County. Along with the opportunity to win baskets of gifts, attendees will be entertained by live music.

A Flapjack Fundraiser will be held Nov. 16 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Sons of Italy, 144 E. Fourth St., Williamsport. The cost will be adults $4, 12 and under $2. Proceeds will benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters. For more information, email movnfrwd@gmail.com.

At 10 p.m., Nov. 22, the Lodge, 2019 E. Third St., will host a Christmas lingerie show to support Strike K-9, an organization devoted to training and using local search and rescue dogs.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov 22 and 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8, the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, at 2805 Reach Road, will offer a timeless holiday memory for animal owners by taking pictures of their pets with Santa Claus.

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