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Do Good Challenge: Virtual

Changes ahead for this year's Do Good Challenge! The annual Do Good Challenge inspires students to make a difference for the issues, ideas, and communities they care about.

Students from across campus spend the year advocating, fundraising, volunteering, and developing solutions for pressing social issues. The Challenge culminates in a Finals event where six teams pitch their project or venture and the impact they've made for the chance to win a share of more than $20,000.

This year's Do Good Challenge has been reimagined for a safe, virtual environment to continue to recognize high-quality student teams and engage a diverse audience to celebrate their success and social impact. For the first time ever, the Challenge will happen as a series of virtual events throughout “Do Good Month” in April. Join us to watch video pitches, explore virtual Q&As, and get insider-looks at student teams’ work, all culminating in the Do Good Challenge Awards Premiere, where viewers can tune-in, vote for their favorite teams, and enjoy in a night of fun and celebration to see which teams take home the top prizes!

Visit our Challenge Hub Meet This Year's Finalists Sign Up for Our Challenge Newsletter

Do Good Challenge Details

Applications for the 2021 Do Good Challenge closed on January 8th, 2021. Thank you to all of the teams that applied.


Want to preview the application before submitting? Review the questions here.

Want text reminders to submit your application? Sign up here.

Have questions about how to write a compelling application? Join our virtual Challenge Application Q&A Sessions to learn more about what makes a great application, the facts and figures you want to include, what you need before submitting, and so much more. There will also be plenty of time to ask questions!

  • Thursday, November 19, 3:30pm
  • Wednesday, December 9, 5pm
  • Thursday, December 17, 7pm
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2pm

Sign up to join one of these sessions here

The Do Good Challenge events will be premiered throughout April as part of  “Do Good Month”. Mark your calendars now, with more details to follow!

  • April 1, 2021: Do Good Challenge Kick-Off
  • April 8, 2021: Finalist Pitches and Q&A posted
  • April 15, 2021: Final day to vote!
  • April 29, 2021: Do Good Challenge Awards Premiere

More than $20,000 will be awarded during the Do Good Challenge! Expert judges will select prizes based on issue, idea, impact, and potential shared in the team pitches and Q&A. 

Project Track

  • 1st Place: $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,000

Venture Track

  • 1st Place: $5,000
  • 2nd Place: $2,500
  • 3rd Place: $1,000

Additional prizes (such as Audience Choice Awards) will be announced in the coming months. Prize amounts will vary.

  • Step 1 | Submit Application: How did you Do Good? Submit an application by Friday, January 8 with your project or venture accomplishments, activities, and impact. The application includes information about your team type, team track, social issue, and activities. There is a written component and a short at-home video component. Applications will be evaluated and scored by a panel of reviewers. 
  • Step 2 | Finalist Selection and Filming: Six teams will be chosen as finalists by the end of January to advance to the main Challenge Event. Finalists will be paired with a coach and participate in a series of events filmed in February and March, such as pitching, judge Q&A, and other fun opportunities to showcase their team and impact. All filming will have safety measures in place or accommodations for at-home options. Students are not required to be on campus for any filming elements. 
  • Step 3 | Support Do Good Challenge Event Releases: Over the month of April, the Do Good Challenge will be released as a series of videos showing the teams’ pitches and highlights of their social impact efforts. Teams will be scored by expert judges based on their issue, idea, implementation, and impact. There will also be the chance for the audience - the UMD community and outside stakeholders - to vote on their top teams. The month will culminate in the Challenge Awards Premiere, where prizes will be announced for top teams. Teams can host Watch Parties and encourage friends and family to join these events live to help get extra support and recognition!
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Applicants must be either a currently enrolled student at the University of Maryland OR a recent graduate from Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20, or Fall ‘20. This is a special circumstance for this year given the 2020 Do Good Challenge cancellation.
  • Applicants may apply as an individual or a team. Teams may be new or existing (such as student organizations, fraternities or sororities, or academic programs).
  • Teams must have a designated lead applicant. Lead applicants must be a full- or part-time, degree-seeking students at the University of Maryland OR have recently graduated. Lead applicants will be the main contact person for all ​communications​, notifications and questions, and take primary responsibility for receiving and responding to all correspondence.
  • Applicants proposals, projects or ventures must be student-led and student-run. Faculty, staff and external partners are encouraged to serve strictly as advisors or mentors.
  • Teams are encouraged to incorporate members and/or mentors from different colleges or schools. Where appropriate, teams should consider mentors that represent community partners or industry experts with unique knowledge and experience in the field related to the proposal, project or venture.
  • Applicants authorize the Do Good Institute to edit and publish proposal, project or venture information – including team member information (including names, majors and other affiliations), impact data, photos, videos, testimonials and success stories – in web and printed materials. Some teams may be profiled on our website and may appear in Do Good Institute, School of Public Policy and University of Maryland publications and other promotional materials.
do good challenge 2019 winner

2021 Do Good Challenge Sponsors and Partners

The Do Good Institute and its Do Good Challenge is made possible by the support and commitment of our dedicated partners, donors, and community. We would like to especially thank Morgan Stanley for their decade-long support of the Do Good Challenge.

Gold-Level Sponsor

  • Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, The Rothschild Foundations

Red-Level Sponsor

  • The CTIA Wireless Foundation

Black-Level Sponsor

  • The Center for Engineering Concepts Development, University of Maryland

White-Level Sponsors

  • The Richard  E. & Nancy P. Marriott Foundation

Contact Us

If you have questions email

Want to stay in the loop with deadlines, opportunities for funding and coaching, and everything Do Good at UMD? Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social @DoGoodatUMD.