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For College and Univeristy Faculty

This handbook is Northern Kentucky University’s effort to share what we have learned about student philanthropy. It is meant to be used. So print. Copy and pastes pages you want to share with students or colleagues. Visit the links to your left for valuable resources.

To produce this guide, we have consulted our faculty as well as faculty from other institutions, both when we produced the first handbook in 2010 and in updating it 12 years later. The first edition of this handbook led to the growth of student philanthropy. It’s our hope that this new edition does the same.

What is Student Philanthropy?  
Student philanthropy is an experiential education approach that uses the power of giving to teach course material. Students begin with a sum of money provided by a donor. Then, working as a class, they explore community needs, learn about nonprofits addressing those needs and, in the end, decide collaboratively where to invest their funds. Each step is integrated into the course and designed to complement learning outcomes while also nurturing a commitment to stewardship of place.

Visit the resource hub to find:

  • Sample syllabi
  • Course abstracts and timelines
  • Sample letters to nonprofits
  • NKU's "pre-test" and "post-test" student surveys
  • NKU's Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project reports
Teaching a Student Philanthropy Class at NKU

The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project is open to all academic disciplines at NKU. Our "learn by giving" approach has been included in
about 40 disciplines.

If you are interested, contact the program's faculty coordinator, Kajsa Larson at or 572-6368. Dr. Larson will meet with you to discuss how to participate.

To qualify for including Mayerson, a professor must:

  • Align the learning outcomes of the course to the student philanthropy components
  • Teach the class with service learning principles.
Student Philanthropy transforming classrooms