Generosity Crosses Generations

MBA'20J Robin Hood Ambassadors
MBA'20J Robin Hood Ambassadors

A global pandemic couldn’t dim the generous and enthusiastic spirit of INSEAD students and young alumni in 2020/2021. Often inspired by alumni challenges, they joined forces in two INSEAD traditions of impact through solidarity: The Robin Hood Scholarship Campaign for students; and the Young Alumni Initiative (YAI), with ambassadors inspiring philanthropy among INSEAD’s youngest graduates as part of Giving Day.

(Fun)draising - Robin Hood Style

A vital component of INSEAD’s Force for Good Campaign, the Robin Hood Scholarship Campaign brings students — INSEAD’s youngest community members — together in a unique philanthropic effort that puts the “fun” in fundraising. Auctions, matching gifts and challenges, catan and FIFA competitions, “secret crush” campaigns that recognise your donation by sending your special friend roses — all are arrows in the quiver of Robin Hood ambassadors as they encourage class participation. Contributions go toward need-based diversity scholarships for students in upcoming classes. Since the campaign’s creation, 35 deserving candidates have been able to join the INSEAD community, receiving the leadership training they need to transform dreams into reality.

The 2020/2021 Academic Year was the 16th year for the Robin Hood campaign, and the second year impacted by Covid-related obstacles. The results in a time of remote learning, shifting timelines and evolving priorities impress and inspire: Across four classes (MBA’20D, MBA’21J, MBA’21D and our first MIM’21 cohort), nearly 900 students contributed close to €50,000, matched by €60,000 from donor challenge gifts.

With the usual in-person avenues for fun and fundraising restricted, Robin Hood ambassadors relied on creativity and determination to achieve their results. For example:

  • When a lockdown was called in France in November 2020, the MBA’20D class mobilised quickly to campaign online — an entirely virtual effort that engaged more than 48% of the class as first-time donors, raised an €18,000 scholarship and provided a welcome distraction from Covid restrictions.
  • The MBA’21J class launched a hybrid auction that unfolded on INSEAD’s Singapore and Fontainebleau campuses simultaneously, the only effort of its kind. Participation reached 61% and unlocked the very first challenge gift by an alumnus.
  • Class of MBA’21D created a treasure hunt in the Fontainebleau forest. With 401 classmates (66% of the class) making a gift, MBA’21D achieved a record number of donations amongst the past six promotions.
  • In an impressive debut, the Master in Management Programme MIM’21 class reached 92% participation, motivated by the mission to bring diversity and talent to the INSEAD community.
Vidyuth Anand quoteOlivia Ozino Caligaris

Young Alumni Rise to the Challenge

Meanwhile, as part of Giving Day, recent INSEAD graduates strengthened their own tradition of generosity by answering the call of YAI ambassadors. 193 donors across classes joined in providing unrestricted support to the Dean’s Fund and motivated long-time INSEAD supporter André Hoffmann MBA’90D to make a challenge gift.

Donor challenge and matching gifts played an especially strong role in student and young alumni giving in 2020/2021, as more senior alumni initiated friendly competition that emphasised participation over the size of one’s gift. Each of the four challengers attracted 90-400 first-time donors, deepening their connection to INSEAD for the long term.

André Hoffmann quoteCharles de Portes quote

Together, Robin Hood ambassadors, YAI volunteers and alumni who offered challenge or matching gifts sent an important message to the entire INSEAD community: Every individual, every class, every generation — we are all in this together. And together, we make INSEAD stronger.

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