Students4Giving, a class based at the Sylvania Campus that emphasizes the importance of philanthropy, recently awarded $12,000 in grant money to four local non-profits – all with a homelessness or poverty focus.
The award-winning recipients are:
- Northwest Pilot Project: $3,635
- P:ear Mentor: $3,635
- Portland Homeless Family Solutions: $2,910
- Northwest Children’s Outreach: $1,820
Students4Giving, which had 33 students this year, launched in 2008 thanks to a grant from Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. Since then, extensive student fundraising and grant writing efforts have enabled Students4Giving to thrive; this year’s fund of $12,000 was raised through a combination of a student-run online auction and textbook drive, as well as donations.
“I continue to be amazed at the creative energy our students bring to the table, which makes the Students4Giving course more substantial each year,” said Cynthia Killingsworth, instructor in business administration, who leads Students4Giving. “Their thoughtfulness when reviewing applications submitted has resulted in deep, rich discussions – I continue to grow and learn each year, right there with the students, as I listen to their conversations.”
Students4Giving highlights the importance of understanding social issues, the grant-making process and the role played by philanthropists and non-profit organizations in meeting community need. Killingsworth said that of particular significance to the students is learning how to guide a real giving program and seeing the value of donations increase.
Students create and send out a request for proposal, review submitted applications, participate in site visits and choose the winning submissions. Since the course was established, Howard Klink, vice president of Community Investment for United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, kicks off each term as the first of several guest speakers, highlighting how philanthropy can facilitate health and human services programs for the needy and vulnerable.
The success of Sylvania’s Students4Giving program over the past three years has led to its expansion to the Rock Creek Campus, beginning in winter term 2011-2012.