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Operation Santa Claus

Hong Kong business students put their fundraising skills to the test for charity

Five teams from local universities aimed to raise as much money as possible for Operation Santa Claus

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2017, 6:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 January, 2017, 3:21pm

Hong Kong’s future business leaders have gathered to showcase their fundraising skills for local causes.

Business students from three universities have been competing to be crowned winners of the 2016 MBA Challenge, organised in aid of Operation Santa Claus (OSC), the joint festive charity campaign run by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

The teams, made up of three to six members, were tasked with forming business plans to raise money for OSC.

The five teams – mUSThaveOSC (HKUST), Love in the City (City University of Hong Kong), Fun-D-Raisers (HKUST), MBS Ginger Heart (Alliance Manchester Business School) and Merry x’mUST (HKUST) – met for the final presentation night at Metta in California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong on January 6.

The MBS Ginger Heart team won the top fundraiser award, whilst HKUST Merry xmUST and HKUST Fun-D-Raiser were also commended in the ‘Best Santa in the Community Contribution’ category.

MBS Ginger Heart raised funds by offering Christmas gift packages to donors, including baked goods, luxury toiletries and shopping mall vouchers, given to the group by its sponsors.

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Janny Shum, team leader for MBS Ginger Heart, said her team had learned a lot from the challenge.

“We are very satisfied with the amount of funds we raised, especially knowing that could help many people,” she said. “The OSC MBA Challenge is good experience for us to put together a business plan, and put our marketing and project management experience into practice.”

The event has raised $868,045 in total - made up of HK$657,045 raised by the teams and

a HK$211,000 donation from sponsor Haitong International Securities Group.

They were given a small contribution from Haitong to start their project in November last year, before carrying out fundraising from November 18 to December 31.

The event, which was held for its fourth year in 2016, was supported by Fringebacker, a global crowdfunding platform which showcases projects in English and Chinese.

The company, founded in 2012, provided a free online fundraising platform, reviewed proposals, provided advice, judged and provided publicity for the competition for the last two years.

Maryann Hwee, the company’s executive director, said it had been proud to support the event.

“This was a project of mutual contribution,” she said. “We gave advice to the students and they could use our platform for free to use around-the-clock fundraising.”

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Hwee added that she was impressed by the standard of the teams’ fundraising ideas this year.

“The teams this year were very interesting,” she said. “They had very good ideas. They were quite focussed on what they wanted to achieve. We provided the fundraising platform so they could have the piece of mind that the fundraising was taken care of, so they could focus on their project.”

Other sponsors of the event included Haitong International Charitable Foundation, Metta, Swire Properties and RevoIT.

Dr Lin Yong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Haitong International Securities Group said it was an “easy” decision to support the challenge, as supporting future business leaders fits well with the company’s corporate positioning. “We regard ourselves as a youthful Chinese financial institution led by a team of passionate and energetic professionals,” he said. “As such, we also see the importance of backing innovative programmes which increase social awareness and help to make a better life for those in need.”

Money raised from the MBA Challenge will support 23 OSC beneficiary charities in Hong Kong. OSC has raised more than HK$250million for the city’s charities since it was founded in 1988.