One class sold t-shirts designed by students. Three sections of another class collaborated on a crowdsourcing campaign, using social media to raise funds.
Those efforts contributed to the financial support for 14 classes that together invested nearly $30,000 in nonprofits for the Spring 2022 semester of NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. While most of our funds come from community foundations and other major donors (thank you!), our classes sometimes get directly involved not only in exploring community needs and how to address them, but also in the fundraising, as those classes did this
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.
While that approach overall is constant year after year, each semester of student philanthropy at NKU is a little different than the ones before. The student fundraising was one special aspect for the Spring 2022 semester, but so was a clear interest in international refugee issues – brought about in part by students seeing the war in Ukraine unfold.
We invite you to click on the classes listed on this page to learn more about the program for this semester. You will read reflections from students and faculty as well as from our nonprofit partners. Thirteen different academic disciplines were involved, from Anthropology to Social Work – and the roster included one “first time” Mayerson disciplines: Art & Design. Across all classes, the experience was powerful one. In the words of one student:
“I am so excited to get more involved in the community and work with more nonprofits in the future. This has been a steppingstone into that. I enjoy that we got to see more insight on nonprofits and how they work. I hope to do more hands-on service projects in the future, and I wish the pandemic would let us do more of those things. I think this class has given me many opportunities to learn and become more engaged in the community.”
Thank you for your interest in the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, the nation’s oldest and broadest university-based experiential philanthropy program.
-Mark Neikirk, executive director
Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement
Northern Kentucky University
Want to sponsor a class? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.