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Marketing Course Studies Effective Social Impact With a Data-Based Approach


February 20, 2024

Nonprofits drive change in society, but with finite resources, the impact they have depends on the effectiveness of their initiatives.

What could an environmentalist organization do with data on the amount of pollution reduction caused by one of its campaigns? Or what could an agency with a focus on housing stability do with data on the number of moves prevented by one of its programs?

Analytics for Social Impact (MKTG T480), a new course offered during spring term in LeBow’s undergraduate marketing program, is unique in bringing a quantitative element to evaluate the effectiveness of social projects.

Gil Peleg, PhD, assistant clinical professor of marketing
Gil Peleg, PhD, assistant clinical professor of marketing

Students will learn how to identify relevant social indicators, collect and analyze data, and interpret the results to gauge the impact of initiatives on individuals, communities and society. The course will explore ethical considerations in the social-impact field, as well as equip students with experience using technology and data visualization to communicate findings.

“I wanted to focus on measurement and provide students with tools that draw from the business world,” says Gil Peleg, PhD, assistant clinical professor of marketing. “Many nonprofits are not using these tools because they don’t have the skills to measure social impact.”

“The goal is to create better-equipped managers for nonprofits that have the point of view of what they can do with analytics.”

Peleg, a member of LeBow’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) action group, has focused a large portion of his career in research related to prosocial behavior and the nonprofit sector. His work has been driven by a forward-thinking approach, which has helped him develop multiple courses in marketing and management for nonprofits.

He hopes students understand their ability to create real change with data they collect from social impact measurement practices.

The course will incorporate real-world examples into its lessons, with guest lecturers from leading organizations like and the World Wildlife Fund discussing the potential data has in guiding decision-making for social initiatives.

“For me, this is not just another class,” Peleg said. “This is the type of class that I aim to teach in order to create change.”

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Assistant Clinical Professor, Marketing