Senior leaders at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) have officially kicked off the School’s first community service partnership with its next-door neighbour, local football foundation Excelsior4ALL. The partnership includes research into the effectiveness of Excelsior4All’s programmes, and defining its learning objectives – and will invite RSM employees, students, and alumni to take part in voluntary activities throughout the year. Dean of RSM, Professor Steef van de Velde and Niels Redert, Director of Excelsior4ALL took symbolic penalty kicks to signify the collaboration. Prof. Steef van de Velde said: “We’ve been working towards forming partnerships and where better to start than in your own backyard?”

RSM’s community service programme

RSM wants to use community service as one of the ways to put its mission, to be a force for positive change in the world, into practice. This first collaboration, with Excelsior4All, aims to facilitate RSM employees, students, and alumni taking part in community service as one-off activities or a long-term commitment. The collaboration between RSM and Excelsior4All will bring the benefits of research to the development of Excelsior4All’s community programmes, and adds the assistance of volunteers from the RSM community to develop these activities. By contributing to the local community through voluntary work and community partnerships, RSM hopes to translate its organisational values into action.

The idea came from Eva Rood, Director of Positive Change and Prof. Lucas Meijs, professor of strategic philanthropy and volunteering, who explained that “the thousands of students at RSM are living in Rotterdam and this is a way to show them how they can make a positive change in the place where they live right now, and they can take this feeling wherever they go after RSM.” The initiative is led by Stephanie Maas, a PhD student in RSM’s department of business-society management whose research focuses on understanding the variations of corporate giving, and on tackling the roles, modes, instruments, and actors of corporate philanthropy.

Collaboration with Excelsior4All

Excelsior4All is a football foundation based at the Excelsior Rotterdam football stadium, next door to RSM. It has a mission with five pillars: education, reintegration, participation in sports, safety, and leading a healthy lifestyle and its activities are based on societal needs – particularly in low socio-economic neighbourhoods. In this way Excelsior4All aims to contribute to the wellbeing of children and stimulate their learning capabilities.

It has set up initiatives such as the Excelsior Clinics, focused on health, Excelsior Schools, providing reading buddies and workshops on topics such as discrimination, and Excelsior Street League, organising neighbourhood football tournaments. Director of Excelsior4All Niels Redert says: “These are kids from Rotterdam North, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Prins Alexander, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek and surrounding neighbourhoods; they come to us on their school’s recommendation and we teach them. We also allow them to attend football matches free of charge. We hope this contributes to the learning and development abilities of our community and we hope in this way to create impact in Rotterdam.” RSM joins Excelsior4All’s other local partners that include Rotterdam SportSupport, Municipality of Rotterdam, Coca Cola, Rabobank, Rotterdam Police, and DHL.

In April, senior leaders at RSM volunteered for the day at the kick-off of Excelsior4All’s Clinics programme for the Crooswijk area, one of Rotterdam’s more disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This year the project will include 40 activity days in 12 locations. The clinics are supported by volunteer football coaches and welcome children of all ages and levels of sporting ability.

Activities available to RSM volunteers at Excelsior4All range from teaching and research to sports and outdoor activities.

Eva Rood, Director of Positive Change at RSM says: “We want to facilitate Excelsior4All in activities they otherwise would not have been able to achieve.” RSM students will share their research capabilities with Excelsior4All: Eva says, “Students will research the effectiveness of Excelsior4All’s programmes; we will create teaching materials and define learning objectives in order to determine whether the desired outcome is achieved.”

Starting with positive changes at home

“Giving back to the local community aligns with our mission to be a force for positive change,” says RSM Dean Steef van de Velde. “We believe education is an important instrument for this and we also believe education goes beyond the classroom.” The partnership with the local community aligns with RSM’s mission and benefits everyone taking part, but it also has reverberations beyond the RSM community.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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