Last week, members of the Class of 2020 spent time volunteering at several local philanthropies and learning about their respective missions as part of Philanthropy Day. Upon returning to campus, students shared presentations of what they learned with their classmates. Students prepped meals at Hunger Busters, visited Ronald McDonald House Dallas, walked animals at Operation Kindness, and much more. This day of learning and service is just one piece in their year-long study of local nonprofits and their impact.
From Courtney Phelps, Director of Community Service Learning:
Philanthropy Day was started in 2011 through Giving Beyond Ourselves Fund. The fund was opened in 2010 with a $100,000 gift from John and Beth Puckett. The fund was established so that students in their junior year at ESD could gain invaluable life lessons about community philanthropy. The objectives of the program at the time of establishment were as follows:
- Being philanthropic, not just service oriented
- Learn about the operating needs of nonprofit agencies – not just volunteer needs
- Focus on local philanthropy – not international – as many of the students already participate in international mission trips
Each year, students can gift 5% of the total fund balance, net of fees. The first grants were made in April 2011. To date, 64 grants have been made totaling $36,750.
This year, the program was revised from a one-day trip on a special programming day to a year-long project where students worked individually and within their advisory groups to research social issues, local nonprofits that addressed the issue, and discuss nonprofit financials. The year-long project encourages students to think critically, collaborate with others, research and analyze available information, and ultimately be informed donors.
Keep up the great work, Eagles!