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What is the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project?

The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project started at Northern Kentucky University in 1999 as a way to teach students more about nonprofits and philanthropy, with the belief that hands-on learning in these fields would produce NKU graduates who are more likely to remain life-long community stewards. 

How does it work?

The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project is designed to use a "learn by giving" approach in the college classroom. Every semester select university courses are named Mayerson courses, are given a sum of money, and are asked to evaluate nonprofits and then invest in those they think will make the most effective use of the funds (typically, $1,000 per nonprofit).

Watch a video on the impact of the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. 


A classroom approach that relies on community interaction is tested when the interaction is virtual. Yet something important  is happening in our Mayerson classes. At a time when students might be feeling disconnected, student philanthropy is helping them feel less so. Students felt connected. To each other. To the nonprofits they consider. To their community. To common purpose.

Handbook for College and University Faculty


Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project Semester/Annual Reports Archive