McGarvie supports the community through her teaching, funding and civic engagement.
She taught at Harvard Business School from 2012 to 2014 where she had a full-time faculty appointment teaching the MBA required curriculum course, Financial Reporting and Control at Harvard Business School. She worked with the faculty to produce teachable case studies. Also, she taught the FIELD group in Chongqing China in January 2014 in which students engaged 5 companies to adapt and shape Design Thinking projects developed during the semester course. Stanford University introduced this term. The Design Thinking process first defines the problem and then implements the solutions, always with the needs of the user demographic at the core of concept development. This process focuses on need finding, understanding, creating, thinking, and doing. At the core of this process is a bias towards action and creation: by creating and testing something, you can continue to learn and improve upon your initial ideas.
She provides time and treasure to organizations that provide entertainment or education in the arts or business management including:
- Northwestern University
- Lyric Opera of Chicago
- Northlight Theatre
- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Evanston History Center has lectures under the Buffalo and holds a variety of events to encourage others to understand history and step into time of past architecture.
Supporting Colonial Williamsburg's Rare Breeds Program led to the birth of Valiant, a critically endangered Cleveland Bays horse at the world's largest living history museum.
Civic Engagement means promoting the quality of life in a community in which we live by working to make a difference and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. McGarvie exercises her civic engagement through some of the same organizations she supports with funding.