Wright State students to award grants to area agencies

The House of Bread, the Linda Vista Project and the Children’s Hunger Alliance will each be awarded mini-grants from Wright State students learning about philanthropy. Each organization serves Dayton and the Miami Valley on issues related to poverty and/or food insecurity and homelessness.

Students in the Citizen Scholar course, Philanthropy as Citizenship, will award three mini-grants this Friday, June 3, 2011, at the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Annual Awards Dinner being held at the Top of the Market Restaurant in downtown Dayton at 6:30.

“Participating in the class allowed me to learn how the funding process works, from the fundraising portion of the process to giving the awards to organizations who are working to meet community needs,” Caitlin McGee said.

The course is one of over 100 being offered via the Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan Campus Compact organizations to increase students’ knowledge about the processes and issues involved in fundraising.

At Wright State University the project involves three additional courses organized by Jennifer Subban, Ph.D., motivated to teach students how to get give back to the community by getting involved in philanthropy.

“I wanted WSU students to get even more involved, and when I had students work to raise funds which they would distribute, I knew I was onto something bigger,” said Subban. “Then, along came the Student Philanthropy Project grant funded by the Corporation for Community and National Service.”

Students learned how to write Requests for Proposals as if they were the organization funding the grants. They learned key-components about the proposal process and the importance of crafting well-stated proposals, criteria, and evaluation components.

Students were given the problem areas of hunger/homelessness or youth/children so that they could consider local organizations they’d like to work with and ultimately advocate for.

Organizations chosen by the class could potentially get three grant amounts: $750, $1,250 and $2,500 for a total of $4,500 to be distributed by them.

The students researched the agencies, presented information to their in-class peers and then were asked to be unbiased decision makers on the three projects, without “selling” their own.

“This might have been the biggest hurdle for the students to make internally. I asked them to do something that few people would have to do in similar circumstances. It was challenging and even a bit painful but it was a learning experience,” said Michel Coconis, Ph.D., the course instructor.

Comments are closed.