Binghamton University one of 10 institutions nationwide selected for student-run philanthropy program
Binghamton University has been selected to develop a student-run philanthropy incubator aimed at recommending grants for nonprofit organizations serving the Greater Binghamton community. The program, known as “Students4Giving,” is sponsored by The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and Campus Compact and is aimed at encouraging community-based learning and partnerships between colleges and universities and local non-profit organizations.
“Binghamton students are deeply involved with numerous community organizations and this program will enable them to enhance these relationships and their educational experiences,” said Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur.
One of only 10 institutions in the nation selected to run the incubator, the program will provide Binghamton University with oversight of a $15,000 Giving Account. Under the direction of David Campbell, assistant professor, the fund will be managed over two semesters by students enrolled in the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program’s nonprofit management sequence.
“The project gives students the chance to become philanthropists: they will raise money to add to the Fidelity account and give it away to local charities. It is a critical part of the training we provide to develop students potential to become future leaders,” said Campbell.
In managing the incubator, students will learn about and be involved in a variety of activities that teach them how to meet community needs by researching local issues, evaluating IRS-qualified 501 © (3) public charities, and determining to which causes and nonprofits to recommend donations. The program will reach out to both local nonprofit leaders and students enrolled in the Public Administration and Social Work programs by soliciting funding applications from area organizations where those students currently hold internships or field placements.
“Students4Giving is providing students with unique, real-life opportunities to learn about community needs and how best to manage charitable assets to maximize their impact,” said Sarah Libbey, president of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. “Managing actual charitable assets provides the students with a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist within the non-profit world and an experience that incorporates real consequences. Our vision is that Students4Giving will provide university students with the skills and inspiration necessary to become the next generation of philanthropic leaders.”
In addition to the Giving Account funds, The Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and Campus Compact will offer students access to charitable planning consultants, as well as guidance and education on charitable giving topics, civic volunteerism and giving through a donor-advised fund throughout the semester.
“The giving initiatives administered through the Students4Giving program illustrate the importance our colleges and universities place on preparing students to tackle today’s most pressing social issues,” said Maureen F. Curley, president, Campus Compact. “We are grateful to the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund for creating this opportunity for students to support their communities, while learning about investing, project management and fundraising strategies that will create a legacy of giving for the future.”
Other institutions chosen to participate in the 2008-2009 Students4Giving program include Providence College in Rhode Island, George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.