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2014 Grant Application Process

For the fifth straight year, students enrolled in the Binghamton University course "Philanthropy and Civil Society" will be making grants totaling $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations in May.

The Learning by Giving Foundation has provided the financial support that makes the student grantmaking possible. David Campbell, Associate Professor of Public Administration is teaching the course. You may contact him at

As part of the course, students receive an overview of philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and their role in civic life. They also explore their personal values, identify the issues about which they care most and learn about community needs. All of this knowledge informs their grantmaking decisions. As a result of this process, students make grants to local organizations generally averaging between $2,000-$5,000. Students will make their decisions regarding which organizations to support in two phases. The first phase of the process is to generate background information about local organizations. Students will use that background information to identify between four and eight finalist organizations about which they would like to learn more. The students then visit the finalist organizations and representatives of those organizations will come to class on April 1 or 8 between 1:15-4:15. The students will select finalists in late March and make grant decisions by April 29th. We will have an awards ceremony on May 6.

To be eligible for a grant award, organizations must be a 501(c) 3 organization operating in South Central New York (generally, but not exclusively, Broome County). If you would like the students to consider your organization for a grant, please complete the online information form.

The students have designed the form to be simple, so we hope it does not take too much of your time. We encourage applicants to complete the information form early to facilitate our process; however we will treat all applicants who submit the form on time equally.

Please complete the form electronically. The deadline for completing the form is Saturday, March 15th at midnight. We know a Saturday deadline is unusual; however we scheduled that day to accommodate potential applicants who we will meet at the end of the previous week and to make sure students have enough time to review applications before they begin their decision-making process the next week.We will not review applications submitted after March 15.

Thank you for your participation. If you have questions about the process, please contact us at

Are you interested in being part of the Philanthropy Incubator? You can donate here or register for the next class, to be held in Fall 2014, here.


We began the Philanthropy Incubator with funding from Campus Compact, the national coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to student civic engagement. In 2010, the Sunshine Lady Foundation, now the Learning by Giving Foundation, began funding a philanthropy course for undergraduates. That support continues today. The Philanthropy Incubator has also received support from student and alumni fundraising, organized by the MPA and MSW GSOs and their biannual "Party with a Purpose." In 2010, the program received funding from the Community Foundation for South Central New York's Harriet Ford Dickinson Fund.

Since 2009, students have contributed over $88,000 to Southern Tier nonprofit organizations. They have done this work this work as part of three primary courses. Undergraduate philanthropy has taken place as part of the Binghamton University Scholars Program and the course Philanthropy and Civil Society; graduate philanthropy has been part of two courses in the College of Community Affairs, Issues in Nonprofit Administration, in the MPA Program, and Advanced Social Work Practice with Communities in the MSW Program.

While the project was formed from within the Department of Public Administration, it would not be able to succeed without the help of the Masters of Social Work program and our funders. The Philanthropy Incubator has become a distinguishing feature of a Binghamton University education, reflecting our commitment to engaged learning, preparing students for effective public service.

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Last Updated: 2/27/14