The Kelley Institute for Social Impact (KISI) offers programs and internships that encourage students to think broadly about the impact of their work on the local community and the world. KISI partners with nonprofits and corporations to provide students with opportunities to discover meaningful careers.
Learn to leverage business for social impact and a better world with the Kelley Institute for Social Impact (KISI)
As the hub of social impact for business-minded students, the Kelley Institute for Social Impact empowers socially conscious undergraduate students to make a difference in local and global communities through education, service, career development, and leadership opportunities.
The Kelley Institute for Social Impact’s vision is to build a community of courageous leaders actively engaged in having a positive, sustainable, and global impact on social and economic justice.
KISI has helped me grow my philanthropic involvement and business skills. I have been able to make valuable impacts on communities in need by applying what I’ve learned in the classroom.
Sophie Harwood, BS’21Finance, Business Law, and International Business (180 Degrees Consulting)
Being a part of KISI has allowed me to explore social responsibility and why it’s so important in today’s business world. My business skills have helped nonprofits, and my corporate social responsibility knowledge has helped businesses grow.
Ritula Kumar, BS’22Finance (Social Enterprise Engagement at Kelley)
Social impact goes much further than just volunteering or donating—it’s an integral part of many business leaders’ strategies and decisions. KISI allows you to see the impact of those decisions firsthand.
Davis Aufdembrink, BS'22Finance and Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation (Civic Leadership Development)
Funding for students interested in social impact. The Kelley Institute for Social Impact has scholarship opportunities for students who are involved in activities that support positive social change:
The Thomasson Scholars Program is a prestigious, renewable scholarship opportunity for direct admit, resident students with a demonstrated commitment to volunteer and service activities in the Kelley Institute for Social Impact.
The Kelley Changemaker Internship Scholarship supports students who are participating in unpaid or underpaid social-impact focused internships at a public, private, or nonprofit organizations.
The Alternative Break Program Scholarship was established in 2014 to support undergraduate students who are participating in an Alternative Break Program service trip.
Kelley Institute for Social Impact (KISI): Use your business skills for good
Description of the video:
Courtney Bidwell, Director, Kelley Institute for Social Impact:
Sometimes there's a perception that there's this big difference between nonprofits and for-profits, and you either want to work at a nonprofit and give back and do something good and you won't make any money, or you either want to work for a for-profit company and sell your soul and do all these things that go against your values and your morals. And that's just not true. There's so many things that are in this gray space in between.
Apurva Gadde, BS’22, Marketing; Hometown: Hyderabad, India:
KISI stands for the Kelley Institute for Social Impact and it's really focused on helping equip business students, like ourselves, with the skills required to lead social impact-related issues in the industries that we enter.
We work with students that are interested in the overlap between business and doing good things in the world. Our goal as an office is to help you explore all those opportunities. So figure out what does a career in social impact look like? What does it look like to get involved in your community, to give back?
Kyle Zyck, BS’21, Information System and Business Analytics; Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL:
You have a bunch of like-minded people that also understand that yes, business is about making money. Yes, business is about returning profits, but it's also about what's your greater purpose and what do you really want to be able to achieve?
Businesses are more and more moving towards social responsibility, that's just a trend that we're seeing worldwide. And in large part, it's happening because of students like you, from the younger generations that are coming up and saying, "Hey, this is really, really important to us. It matters to us that the place we're working, cares about people, and the world, and the environment."
The corporate sector isn't necessarily something that people see as something that contributes to change or makes the world a better place, but KISI's really helped me see how that's possible.
I think from probably your first day at Kelley, you will start thinking about your career. Our goal is to equip you, starting from the very beginning, with the tools that you need to be able to figure out what that looks like. One of the ways that you could jump in and get involved, your first couple of months on campus, is through the Habitat for Humanity build with Whirlpool. Students, staff, faculty, Whirlpool execs, all come together, and over the course of 10 days, we build a house on campus for a local family in Bloomington. And that experience is a way to get hundreds of volunteers in, over just a couple of days. We have six student organizations, they all have their own acronyms, but they all explore this idea of the intersection of business and social impact in different ways.
The thing that's really nice about KISI clubs is that you can choose. There are some that are heavier time commitments, there are some that are lesser time commitments. I'm involved with the Alternative Break Program and that was a great opportunity for me to get involved with the organizations working in developing countries and in the US.
I'm really interested in business, I mean, that's why I'm here. And I really also want to figure out how can I help deal with climate change. And I found this great student organization in Net Impact, that's a greater part of the KISI organization. The goal of Net Impact is to find areas between how can we make sure we're helping out the planet, fighting things like climate change, water pollution, air pollution, things like that, but then how can we also make sure that they're sustainable in a business sense?
I've had the opportunity of interning through KISI. Last summer, I worked at Flying Squirrel Outfitters in Thailand. They were an organization that supported women at the grassroots level to make sustainable products. And then this winter break, I'm planning on working with Global Mamas, which is another KISI partner organization that's based in Ghana, and they do a lot of work with fair trade.
We started an event at KISI a couple of years ago that I think really epitomizes the combination of mutually beneficial relationships for our community partners and our students, and also the tangible work that we do, and that's the Kelley Impact Competition. This is a case competition that students can do, it's open to any IU student, and we work with a nonprofit partner in Bloomington that has a challenge they're facing. And then teams of students get together, they spend a couple months figuring out what that looks like, diving deep, getting their suggestions together. And then after a couple months, they present their ideas. And the winning team not only gets $10,000 of prize money, but they also get $10,000 of seed money to implement their idea. This is a real nonprofit that's facing a real challenge, and you, as students, get to be a part of that solution.
KISI, for me, is just home, and I've met some of my most incredible friends in KISI and they're all doing very inspiring things, even after graduating. It's an extremely important part of my college education that I wouldn't replace for anything.
KISI really ends up being a community. It's a community of students that want to do good with their lives, and that realize that business is a really strong force for that. What does it look like for business to think about not just profits, right? To think about their people, to think about the planet, to think about all of the implications of their actions. So if that's of interest to you, then we're happy to help you walk that path.