Student project awards $15,000 to five local charities
April 8, 2009
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students studying nonprofit leadership had the opportunity to fund projects for five local charities totaling $15,000 through a program started in the fall for a select group of universities nationwide.
Funds from Campus Compact and Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund provided students from just 10 universities across the country the opportunity to research community needs and award grants to local charitable organizations. The WMU grants, awarded at a reception April 2, were part of the Students4Giving program to advance philanthropic education efforts at colleges around the nation.
The program engages students in strategic grant-making activities and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and allows them to have hands-on experience identifying needs in the community, setting criteria for grants and administering funds.
Kalamazoo grant recipients
Prior to awarding the grants, WMU students researched local issues and set priorities for projects that combated institutional racism or secured basic human rights to food, housing and transportation. The projects accomplished those goals through advocacy; through after-school and mentoring that improved academic skills--specifically reading, writing, math and science; and through programs that strengthened families by providing educational programs for parents and guardians.
Twenty-two students enrolled in the Seminar in Nonprofit Leadership at WMU were part of the University's Students4Giving effort. Students sent out requests for proposals, and 23 agencies responded asking for more than $110,000. The WMU students reviewed responses, interviewed finalists and spent more than seven hours coming to a consensus on which programs to fund.
During the past seven years, the WMU Nonprofit Leadership Program, a part of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, has graduated and certified 76 nonprofit leaders, given $33,000 to local nonprofits, provided 22,500 hours of intern service to local and regional nonprofits, coordinated 9,600 hours of service learning associated with classes, and educated 16 local nonprofit professionals.
For more information, contact Janice Maatman at email@example.com or (269) 387-8945.
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