Philanthropy class announces local $10,000 grant finalists and award event
Green Bay, WI — The annual Celebrating Students and Philanthropy event is being held on April 27 at 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Lobby/Atrium of Mary Ann Cofrin Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus.
Students in the UW-Green Bay Philanthropy class will award grant(s) of up to $10,000 to one or more local charitable organizations and celebrate the achievements of students in the Public & Environmental Affairs department, and outstanding community partners in the government and nonprofit sectors. Faculty, students, and local organizations will speak.
2023 Celebrating Students and Philanthropy grant finalists are:
House of Hope – providing emergency shelter and supportive services for youth and families with children who are experiencing homelessness.
The Aging and Disability Resource Center – providing information and assistance services and advocacy for older adults and persons with disabilities, including an extensive meals program and the Grounded Cafe.
The Green Bay School District’s Gay-Straight Alliance – a school club dedicated to promoting acceptance. LGBT youth often don’t have good social support; providing a safe space helps them thrive.
In the weeks ahead, UW-Green Bay students will site-visit each finalist to get a better understanding for each organization before making a final decision.
Philanthropy is a unique class at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Each year, grants from the Learning by Giving Foundation (founded by philanthropist Doris Buffet, deceased older sister of Warren Buffet) and the UW-Green Bay Foundation provide funding for students to learn philanthropy-by-doing, awarding $10,000 to a not-for-profit organization that addresses an important need in the Brown County area.
In previous years, the class chose an area of common interest and then requested grant proposals from community organizations. This year, Dr. Lora Warner, the instructor, introduced the concept of giving circles. “In past years, most students did not see themselves as philanthropists and would often say, ‘I will never again have the chance to give away $10,000.’ I think the giving circle approach helps them feel more empowered to make impactful gifts as they go on in life.” Giving circles can be formed by any group of people, small or large, based on their shared values. Circle members agree to pool their money and make a more significant gift than they could individually.
Every student brought unique ideas and concerns that were important to them. The class eventually formed three giving circles focused on homelessness, LGBTQ+ youth, and the needs of older adults. Each giving circle did research on their focus area of need as well as about local charitable organizations that worked on the need in our community. After some discussion, three finalists were chosen.
According to student James Harris, “this form of “strategic” philanthropy is more involved than simply finding a worthy cause to donate money to, it requires understanding why you’re giving and what you want to accomplish. You don’t need to be wealthy to engage in philanthropy, all you need to do is contribute to a cause you care about.”
If you want to follow these students on this unique learning experience, you can read their blog or listen to their podcast.
About UW-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving more than 9,600 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners each year. We educate students from pre- college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. In 2021, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.