Study Trips


Consulting Methods and NGO Financial Management

In April 2022, students from the MSc in International Management traveled to Athens, Greece, to engage in a capacity building project with the homeless services organization Ithaca Laundry. This consulting project had students engage with the financial management and operational strategies for the proposed activities of this active NGO and mission-based enterprise.

Ithaca Laundry is Europe’s first mobile laundry unit. It was founded in 2015 and is actively providing services and support to the homeless and other vulnerable groups across Athens. Ithaca was seeking to gain more visibility in Greece and internationally by offering reintegration services to reduce the social exclusion of the underprivileged, and is therefore ramping up its marketing efforts. Students held a series of meetings with the client to better understand the contexts of homelessness in Greece’s capital, as well as how the organization’s current operations allow it to develop strategies to fund and implement new projects.

Capacity building is an integral part of this process. Capacity building enables nonprofit organizations and their leaders to develop strategies and organizational strengths that can make them more effective and sustainable, thus allowing them to increase the living standards of the more vulnerable populations to which they cater and to better address some of most intractable contemporary social and environmental problems.

Students worked in four different consultancy teams – covering operations, development, communications and project management respectively – to produce a strategy for Ithaca Laundry. These teams set up their own scope of work and organized project deliverables before, during and after the trip, meaning the project was organized very similarly to a real-world management consulting engagement. They delivered their final strategies and the frameworks they developed to Ithaca Laundry’s management and staff in a meeting following the study trip as part of their final exam period.