Megan Kashner
Megan Kashner

Clinical Assistant Professor of Public-Private Interface
Director of Social Impact

Print Overview

Megan Kashner is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Kellogg's Public-Private Interface and Director of Social Impact. Kashner came to Kellogg from an extensive career in the impact sector, most recently as the Founder of Benevolent, a philanthropic platform that invites donors to step in and fill gaps in the safety net for low-income families. Kashner is a self-proclaimed "ticked-off social worker" with more than 20 years of strategic management, community partnership building and organizational planning experience across nonprofits, philanthropy, volunteerism and corporate social engagement.

Prior to founding Benevolent, Kashner served as an Executive Director at the Taproot Foundation and in executive and innovation roles in nonprofits and companies across the impact sector. Kashner and Benevolent have been featured at the White House, at national conferences on philanthropy and entrepreneurship, on CNN Headline News, in FastCompany, Mashable, Working Mother, MSNBC, the New Yorker, New York Times and more.

In her leadership of Kellogg's Social Impact offerings, Kashner focuses on the areas of impact investing, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, nonprofit management, policy, global development, values and ethics. Kashner and the Social Impact team withn KPPI support Kellogg faculty, students and alumni as they lead the way in blending economic, social and environmental factors into management organizations and markets to deliver lasting benefits for society.

Kashner is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois and holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Brown University, an MSW from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Kellogg.

Print Vita
M.B.A., 2003, Marketing and Strategy & Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
A.M., 1995, Social Service Administration, Clinical MSW, University of Chicago
B.A., 1992, Public Policy and American Institutions, Brown University

Academic Positions
Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of Social Impact, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, 2016-present

Other Professional Experience
Founder & CEO, Benevolent, 2011-present
Executive Director, Taproot Foundation, 2008-2011
Executive Director, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, 2005-2008
Chief Development Officer, Deborah's Place, 2003-2005
Program Director, Howard Area Community Center, 1999-2001
Program Director, Methodist Youth Services, 1996-1999
Mental Health Intake Coordinator, Heartland Health Outreach, 1993-2005
Outreach Worker, Thresholds, 1992-1993

Print Research

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Field Study (KPPI-498-0)

Social Impact and Technology Innovation (KPPI-925-5)
In this five-week course, we will explore the intersection of technology and social impact. We’ll explore corporate or mass-market technology leveraged or adapted for social impact, as well as technology developed for social impact that finds an additional market-based use and opportunity to scale. During the course, we will explore trends, possibilities and innovations. We will hear from and visit with technology leaders and innovators who leverage what’s new in tech to make the greatest difference for people and the planet. For their final project, students will use a human-centered-design approach to formulate a strategy for and pitch real technology and impact-sector leaders with their creative and market-based early conceptual and strategic ideas for the deployment of technology innovation for social impact. Students need not know how to code nor are they expected to come to this class with a social innovation tech innovation already in mind.

The Business of Social Change (KPPI-957-0)
This course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to influence and lead social impact in business and impact contexts. By the conclusion of this course, each student should have a robust toolbox of frameworks and concepts inherent to social impact and social change. Tools like approaches to funding impact, scaling programs and interventions, public-private partnerships, corporate engagement, impact investment decision-making and theories of change will serve students well in future experiences in corporate leadership, consulting, board and pro bono service, social impact leadership, social entrepreneurship and beyond. Throughout the course, we will touch on singular social issue through which to learn and test social impact frameworks and concepts. Guest speakers from companies and organizations will provide students with insights from many angles, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise into the classroom. The Business of Social Change will be new and improved in 2018, based on the successes and learnings from its debut year in 2017.