The Virtu Project
The Story of Virtu
In 2006, a group of Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP) students at Indiana Univeristy developed a novel idea. Seeking to move their educational experiences beyond the classroom, these social entrepreneurs hoped to create and manage a philanthropic investment fund to support an established global non-profit agency, and they chose Timmy Global Health.
How it Works
The Virtu Project creates a unique opportunity for hands-on learning, particularly in the areas of ethical investing, networking, teamwork, and creative problem-solving. The project generates funds for Timmy Global Health (formerly the Timmy Foundation) through mock investing in the stock market. Rather than assuming the inherent risks of investing large sums of money, Virtu asks donors to pledge investments in a mock portfolio. After a one‐year period, donors will match the returns made on the mock portfolio by making a direct contribution to Timmy Global Health. For example, if a donor were to pledge $10,000 and the fund yielded a 10% return in one year, the donor would write a check for $1,000. This method eliminates the risk of losing “real” money and still rewards performance. In addition to fundraising, the Virtu Project uniquely blends philanthropy and education. The project facilitates opportunities for LAMP students to develop an array of real‐world business skills using a hands‐on approach. Students working on the Virtu Project will gain experience in the areas of finance, marketing, accounting, business law, networking, and creative problem solving. The Virtu Project enables students to generate proficiency in these areas through a series of ongoing workshops facilitated by LAMP faculty, IU administration, and industry experts.
In the past five years, the team raised over $45,000 for Timmy’s work at home and abroad, allowing members to make a tangible difference outside of the classroom. Thanks to all of the Virtu student members and donors who make the project a success year after year.
For a snapshot of Virtu’s work, please click here to download their Spring Semester Report for 2012.
The Virtu Team Members are always looking for new individuals interested in their unique philanthropic model. To learn more about the project, pledge to their mock portfolio, or speak with a Virtu student representative, please visit their website at http://www.indiana.edu/~virtu/.
Click Here for an inside look at the Virtu Project from IU Student Derek Sprunger, President, 2012.