Defiance College students became philanthropists for a semester, awarding $12,000 in mini-grants through a philanthropic program in their academic college courses. The students presented the first grant recipients with their awards at a luncheon on the DC campus.
PathStone, formerly known as Rural Opportunities, was awarded a $4,000 grant from Dr. Michelle Tabit’s Latin American History class to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault within the northwest Ohio migrant Latino population. Legal Aid of Northwest Ohio received a $4,000 grant from Dr. Marian Plant’s Beyond Volunteerism religion class to provide legal aid services to area individuals in need. The Macro Practices social work class taught by Professor Alesia Yakos Brown awarded Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission and Ravens Care Inc. each a $2,000 grant to assist low income clients with transportation needs.
The DC students designed mission statements and procedures for how their individual grants would be processed and awarded. Each class distributed applications to numerous agencies and then went through a selection process. More than 25 area agencies submitted applications for the four grants.
In November 2007, the Defiance College’s McMaster School for Advancing Humanity was awarded $34,000 for a four-year grant. The grant was used to launch a new program that teaches students how to be effective philanthropists. Three courses per year will each receive $4,000 to be used to make grants to one or more community partners that are paired with the courses. Funding for the Campus Connects Student Philanthropy program is provided by entrepreneur and philanthropist Roger Grein of Cincinnati and managed by Campus Compact, Ohio and Kentucky chapters.
The grant provides seed funding for students to make grants. The primary goal is to create opportunities for students to understand the role of philanthropy in community development. An important secondary goal is to teach students about the rewards and challenges of fund-raising and grant-making. The program also provides training for faculty and administrators to learn how to integrate principles of philanthropy into existing courses.
Dr. Laurie Worrall, Dean of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, believes that the program is an important addition to Defiance College’s strong commitment to supporting communities, locally and internationally. “This program will help to develop our students’ understanding of an important aspect of community involvement. All Defiance College students understand community organizations as volunteers. However, given the powerful influence individual philanthropists have in shaping public policy through outcomes-based funding, it is essential that college students gain first-hand experience in understanding non-profit organizations from a philanthropic perspective,” says Worrall. “This program will allow the McMaster School to develop strong applied learning opportunities for students.”
Dr. Don Buerk, Associate Professor of History and McMaster Associate Fellow, agrees. “This philanthropy grant is another exciting example of the unique learning opportunities that Defiance College provides to its students. I am particularly interested in integrating the principles of philanthropy that this program provides into our new International and Global Studies Program. The program fits nicely with the goals of the McMaster School to study the human condition at home as well as abroad with an emphasis on alleviating human suffering.”
The grant carries with it the requirement to develop a new stream of funding from external sources to sustain the program. DC’s Office of Institutional Advancement sees this as an excellent opportunity for young alumni to support the college through an innovative academic program. The McMaster School will need to raise $13,000 each year to support its program in philanthropy. Twelve thousand dollars of the amount raised will provide grant-making funds to the designated courses, with the additional one thousand used to provide ongoing faculty training, course development, and assessment.
If you are interested in contributing to this new fund, please contact Dr. Laurie Worrall, Dean of the McMaster School of Advancing Humanity, at (419) 783-2553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate majors as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of engagement. U. S. News & World Report ranks Defiance in the top tier of comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
November 21, 2008