Oct 16, 2010

Colleges that Teach Philanthropy

Students in a philanthropy class at the University of Mary Washington recently issued a request for proposals to nonprofit organizations located in counties surrounding their campus in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Up to $10,000 in grant money is being made available to organizations serving low-income or homeless individuals or families.

“Applicants may include agencies that operate shelters or youth educational programs or work to develop adult skills,” according to the mission determined by the class of 22 students. The group wants the funds to benefit agencies focusing on sustainable, community-based programs in the Fredericksburg area.

The UMW philanthropy class is one of 15 similar “Learning By Giving” programs supported by Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation. The sister of investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, Ms. Buffett established the foundation with the hope of inspiring students to become leaders in their communities.

In their philanthropy classes, students formulate mission statements for their foundations, research nonprofits in their communities, and ultimately decide how to allocate funds. The class at UMW is located in the Economics Department and is titled “Economics of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector.”

Other colleges and universities with Learning By Giving courses include:

Ball State University, IN (English): Giving and Getting—Understanding Charity and Philanthropy in the Modern World.
College of the Holy Cross, MA (Economics and Accounting): Environmental Economics, Government and Nonprofit Accounting
Cornell, NY (Human Ecology): Leadership in the Nonprofit Environment
Davidson, NC (Political Science): Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector
Georgetown, DC (Sociology): Philanthropy and Social Change
McMaster, Ontario (Business): Strategic Philanthropy and Leadership
New York University (Wagner School of Public Service): Philanthropy, Advocacy and Social Change
Tufts, MA (Experimental College): Experimenting with Philanthropy
University of Montana (School of Business Administration): Leadership and Motivation
Valparaiso, IN (English): Traditions of Giving and Serving in American Life
UC Berkeley, CA (Hass School of Business): Economics of Philanthropy
SUNY Binghamton, NY (College of Community and Public Affairs): TBD
UNC Chapel Hill, NC (Carolina Center for Public Service): Philanthropy as a Tool for Change

The students at UMW hope to make their awards by November 30th. For more information on the Learning By Giving program or colleges that teach philanthropy, visit the Sunshine Lady Foundation website.

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