Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability Program Receives Innovative Investment from Clif Bar

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The Clif Bar Family Foundation has launched a new approach to philanthropy, making its first-ever $100,000 “Program Related Investment” (PRI) in Bard College’s new MBA in Sustainability, one of a handful of programs globally that fully integrates sustainability into a graduate business curriculum. Rather than a grant, the Clif Bar Family Foundation made a PRI in the form of a low-interest loan to Bard College. PRIs are used by a small number of progressive philanthropic foundations to allow them to maximize the value of their portfolios. In this case, the PRI will help Bard’s MBA through its initial start-up phase. In the future, the Clif Bar Family Foundation will be able to utilize the loan repayments from the MBA, and re-grant or re-loan the $100,000 to other organizations.

“As an MBA focused on building a sustainable future, PRI start-up financing provides a great lesson for our students,” according to MBA Director Eban Goodstein.  “They are learning to scale profitable solutions to environmental and social problems. That means investing wisely today, positioning a company for future financial stability.”

“Bard’s MBA model of integrated sustainability mirrors Clif Bar & Company’s five bottom lines, which include sustaining its business, its brands, its people, the planet, and the community,” said Thao Pham, executive director of the Clif Bar Family Foundation. “We’re pleased to support a program that embraces that vision, training the next generation of business leaders to see the world through multiple lenses.”

Founded in 2006 by Clif Bar & Company co-owners and co-CEOs Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, Clif Bar Family Foundation supports innovative small and mid-sized organizations working to strengthen the food system and communities, enhance public health, and safeguard the environment and natural resources. For more information or to find out how to apply for a grant, visit www.clifbarfamilyfoundation.org.

Launched last fall in New York City, Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability Program is a two-year program that responds to the dramatic surge in demand for training in sustainable business practices being created by green start-up businesses and major corporate efforts. The Bard MBA provides a rigorous education in core business principles, as well as sustainable business practices, with a focus throughout on economics, environment, and social equity. The program is low-residency, with classes meeting in person once a month from Friday morning until Monday afternoon, with online classes each week in the evenings. The MBA also involves student teams in an innovative NYCLab consultancy during their first year in the program.

For more information about Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability, please visit www.bard.edu/mba, e-mail mba@bard.edu, or call 845-758-7388.

Photo credits: Clif Bar & Company http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/26/Clifbarlogo3.jpg

Clif Bar Family Foundation http://clifbarfamilyfoundation.org/images/cliff_elements/CBFF_logo.png

About Bard MBA in Sustainability