NPLD 750: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Partnerships and Practices

Important Dates

Pre-travel course sessions at Penn

Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Other dates in Spring 2019 TBA

Dates in Rotterdam, Netherlands: May 22 – May 31

May 22 (arrive in time to attend 5:00 pm opening dinner)

May 31 (depart after 2:00 pm to ensure attendance at closing luncheon)


The application for this course is currently closed.

Course Description

Looking over a canal to a city skyline in the Netherlands

NPLD 750 examines the relationship between business and society using the prevalent framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with a focus on corporate philanthropy. The large question that we focus on is, “What is the responsibility of business to society, if any?” We examine how it is conceptualized, its practice, the societal partnerships forged, and its impact.

Businesses performing philanthropic activity often use their platform of CSR activities to engage with society, directly, via a corporate foundation, or through partnerships with nonprofit organizations. Although such philanthropic activities are not directly related to profit-making ventures, they may boost their reputation, be used in marketing their products, talent recruitment, increase employee engagement and commitment, and thus contribute to the profit indirectly. Many businesses undertake their CSR related philanthropic activities using strategic partnerships with nonprofits or public sector organizations to meet their goals. This provides opportunities to nonprofit and public sector leaders in achieving social and sustainable change.

The onsite program is a combination of lectures, guest speakers, tours, and discussion groups.

Sample Itinerary for Netherlands Visit

This is a sample itinerary based on previous course arrangement. Speakers and excursions for 2019 will be finalized in the spring and may differ from previous years’ courses.

Day 1

Morning: Arrival of students

Afternoon: free

Evening: Informal dinner

Day 2

Morning Lecture: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Afternoon Lecture + Field Visit to Dutch Company

Evening: Free

Day 3

Morning Lecture: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Afternoon: Jarige Job, Corporate-Nonprofit Initiative

Evening: Free

Day 4

Morning Lecture: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Afternoon: Amsterdam – CSR visit

Evening: Free

Day 5

Morning: Amsterdam Rijks Museum

Afternoon: Workshop Social Enterprise

Evening: Free

Day 6

Morning: Utrecht Visit to Dutch Corporation

Afternoon: CSR/Nonprofit partnership

Evening: Free

Day 7

Free Day (National Holiday in Netherlands)

Day 8

Morning Lecture

Afternoon: Guided Tour

Evening: Closing Dinner


Any Penn graduate student may apply for this course.

Applications from upper-division undergraduates will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Students must be open-minded and have an appreciation for different worldviews and opinions.

Students do not need to speak a foreign language in order to participate in this course.

Enrollment Requirements

Prior to departure, students will need to submit the following paperwork to SP2
  • Health Review Form
  • Liability Form
  • Registration in Penn’s Global Activities Registry

Costs & Fees


Students are charged regular course tuition from their home program for this course

Program Fee: $250

In addition to tuition, students are charged a $250 program fee to cover the cost of local arrangements.

Additional Expenses

(not included with the program fee)

  • Airfare from the United States (or your point of trip origin) to/from Amsterdam/Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Visa Application (for those who come from non-Western countries)
  • Lodging/Accommodations in Rotterdam
  • Meals/Snacks
  • Local transportation (trains to and from Amsterdam, Utrecht; expected to be about $150)
  • Money for souvenirs, etc
Financial Aid and Billing

This course is part of the Spring 2019 schedule and will be billed accordingly. Financial aid is applied to the Spring 2019 term.

SP2 Student International Travel Fund

SP2 students may apply for an award from the SP2 International Travel Fund. This award is distributed as financial aid to cover a portion of the students’ airfare and will be posted to the student’s financial aid account for the spring semester. To receive the award, students must complete the course and submit the receipt showing the total cost and flight details of their trip. Instructions for requesting an award from the SP2 Student International Travel Fund will be shared with students who enroll in the course.


The RSM hotel in The Netherlands

Students should arrange to fly into the Amsterdam airport and are responsible for securing transportation to Rotterdam. (Trains run from the airport to Rotterdam every 20 to 30 minutes.) Transportation options will be reviewed during the on-campus sessions.

All students need to be in Rotterdam for the start of course activities by May 22 at 5:00 pm.

Many students choose to travel on their own before or after the course dates. This is fine as long as they can ensure their attendance for all activities between May 22 at 5:00 pm until May 31 at 2:00 pm. It is recommended that students choose accommodations and flights accordingly in order to observe compliance with this requirement.

A list of all students accepted and confirmed will be provided to class in case students would like to share accommodations or arrange flights together.


Students will find their own accommodations. The general area will be provided to assist you in locating accommodations. The public transportation system in Rotterdam is excellent, so there is easy access to all locations.


Students are responsible for all meals except the opening dinner and the final lunch which are provided by the program.

Additional Information

NPL Program

This course fulfills a NPL elective course in the Nonprofit Leadership program.

Global Human Rights Certificate

This course is not pre-approved to fulfill any requirements for the Global Human Rights certificate.

Contact Information

Questions about the course
Questions about the online application, course registration, and travel awards
Questions about financial aid

Office of Financial Aid

Photos graciously provided by Lara Williamson and Brent Guiliano.

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