Impact Investing and Venture Philanthropy

Impact Investing

Impact investing and venture philanthropy are fields that apply traditional investment discipline and measurement to organizations aiming for social impact. The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation facilitates courses and programs to help prepare Chicago Booth students for careers in these fields.

The following impact investing programs, resources, and courses are designed to help students build a solid foundation in traditional finance, while exposing them to social sector experts and innovative investing mechanisms.

Impact Investors in Residence

The impact investors in residence at the Rustandy Center mentor students, participate in or lead programs and workshops with student groups, and meet with alumni and faculty.

The Rustandy Center’s impact investors in residence, Brian Axelrad, 09, and Priya Parrish, 09, are available during regular office hours. Learn more about them on the center's leadership page.


Get Involved

Upcoming office hours are listed on the Rustandy Center events page. For questions about the Impact Investors in Residence program, email


Additional Resources


Rustandy Center Impact Investing Award

In 2018, Karen Miller Padgett, ’93, endowed the Karen Miller Padgett, ’93 Impact Investing Experiential Learning Program, enabling the Rustandy Center to provide $6,000 to support one MBA student’s summer internship in impact investing.

The deadline to apply for the 2018 Rustandy Center Impact Investing Award is Friday, June 1, at noon. Apply here »

To be eligible for the award, applicants must be enrolled in the Full-Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth and must be returning to class in fall 2018. Applicants also must work at least 10 weeks over the course of the summer. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, made up of representatives from the Rustandy Center and Career Services. For more information on eligibility, view this document (pdf).


Perspectives in Impact Investment: A Series on Leveraging Capital for Social Good
The Rustandy Center, along with one of the center’s impact investors in residence, Priya Parrish, ’09, will hold a new series on impact investing. This series is for Booth MBA students and will provide an overview of impact investing with sessions on public and private markets, a panel with asset owners/investors, and a capstone simulation session focused on investment opportunities. Please note that this series is designed as a four-part series.

Upcoming seminars are listed on the Rustandy Center events page. For more information, please contact Sarah Dougans.

Experiential learning and competitions include:


The Lauren and Keith Breslauer, ’88, Social Impact Scholarship awards $20,000 each to two rising second-year Booth students in the Full-Time MBA Program who are pursuing a career in impact investing or social entrepreneurship. For more information on the Breslauer Scholarship, please email Christina Hachikian.

For-Credit Courses

For-credit courses include (Booth password required):

Work Space

  • The Rustandy Center shares an office at 1871, a 50,000-square-foot collaboration space in downtown Chicago. University of Chicago students, faculty, and alumni working on startups or impact-investing initiatives may apply to gain access to this shared office to conduct meetings during regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.). Startups interested in access must agree to a $5 monthly fee and adhere to all guidelines. To apply for access, fill out the online form.

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