What We Do: Innovate. Impact. Be Unreasonable.
Raise Awareness :
We organize the Social Impact Summit, our annual event that brings in an array of all-star social entrepreneurs in an effort to educate attendees about social entrepreneurship, inspire attendees to become changemakers in their communities, and facilitate networking among those with a passion to for social enterprise. Click here to learn more.
We bring in social entrepreneurs to talk about how their innovative organizations are making the world a better place. View the gallery below to see some recent organizations we've brought in for our one night speaker events:
Build Professional and Personal Experience:
CAUSE operates like a startup company. We pride ourselves giving each member the opportunity to have an active voice in shaping our organization, our actions, and our goals. The following sections outline of our current acting committees and help give an idea of how CAUSE gives its members the opportunity to develop professionally and personally:
Operates our NIU famous CAUSE Pizza venture. During our weekly pizza sales we sold over 5,500 slices in only three semesters!
Manages our sponsorship platform for the Social Impact Summit. Without the development of this platform, selling of the sponsorship's, and maintenance of the partnerships, the Social Impact Summit wouldn't be possible. Click here to check out this year's unreasonable sponsors.
Social Impact Summit Committee
- Develops relationships with social entrepreneurs to create our speaker lineup for the SIS
- Manages all logistics of the SIS from development of the ticket sales platform, to sourcing the venue, to running event day operations
- Performs outreach to outside organizations, businesses, and universities to help market the SIS to social changemakers
- Develops all community service activities for CAUSE through the creation of partnerships with local organizations to give CAUSE members the opportunity to make a hands on impact
- Organizes our speaker events outside of the Social Impact Summit
- Handles all aspects of recruitment of new members. Interested in joining? View our Get Involved page!
CATIS Consulting Project
CATIS, a subsidiary of the International Centers for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability (iCATIS), is a non-profit located in San Miguel, Mexico focused on helping local communities develop technologies to help with water quality, sustainable agriculture and construction, and women’s issues. They have developed a ceramic water filter and have partnered with Melissa Lenczewski, Director of the Institute for Environmental Sustainability & Energy (ESE) at NIU, to test these filters. Through their connection with Dr. Lenczewski, they are partnering with the NIU chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), who has developed a special insert for the devices to filter out dangerous levels of arsenic and fluoride that are found in the ground water.
CATIS has asked the Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (CAUSE) to help develop a marketing and distribution strategy. A team of CAUSE students began working on this project in early January 2014. The project will entail conducting analysis of the product, market, culture and best practices in similar industries. The final deliverable will be a marketing and distribution plan, delivered by the team of students at the end of their Spring 2014 semester. The students will help launch and implement the plan during a site visit to San Miguel, Mexico in mid-May 2014. Dr. Christine Mooney, Co-director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor to CAUSE, is serving as the supervisor on this project.
Our fundraising activities have given us the opportunity to invest in people and organizations making a positive impact in the world. Each year, CAUSE members have an opportunity to propose and vote on organizations to donate at least 25% of our remaining bank account balance to. In the last year, we've invested:
- $500 in a microfinance loan to Mary Chuy to develop her family restaurant. A group of CAUSE members personally met Mary on a trip to Mexico in their microfinance class at NIU. Upon returning, they instantly sold us on her amazing story. Check out her awesome thank you video:
- $600 to help build a library in Tanzania. CAUSE VP of Social Impact Summit traveled to Tanzania and helped build the library as a part of a summer study abroad program offered at NIU
- $250 in microfinance loans to entrepreneurs around the globe through Kiva
- $500 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help provide meals and related services to those in need in DeKalb County and surrounding areas