Three local charities recently received a total of $8,000 in grants from Northwest students taking a course in non-profit management. The funds
were provided by Campus Compact and the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. Pictured above, from left, are (first photo) Dave Weichinger, Norma Eckerson
and Kris Marion of Community Services Inc. and student Laura Yeager; (second photo) Amie Firarvich of the Nodaway County Senior Center and
Yeager; (third photo) Muriel Zimmerman of the Children and Family Center and Amy Nally, Northwest's coordinator of volunteer
programs and service learning.
June 5, 2009
Student non-profit project awards $8,000 to three local charities
Northwest students who recently completed a course in nonprofit leadership and management were instrumental this spring in distributing a total of $8,000 to three local charities with program funds awarded in 2008 to a select group of universities nationwide.
Because of its longstanding commitment to student volunteerism and service learning opportunities, Northwest was one of only ten academic institutions chosen to participate in the 2008-'09 Students4Giving program sponsored by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Campus Compact.
Students taking the nonprofit leadership course at Northwest acquired classroom and practical experience in using charitable dollars to meet community needs. Activities included researching local issues, evaluating IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities and recommending which causes and non-profits are to receive funds.
Northwest was chosen from a group of universities and colleges nationwide that submitted proposals to participate in the program. In addition to financial support, the Gift Fund and Campus Compact provided access to charitable planning consultants who provided guidance and advice.
"The mission of the Northwest Student Philanthropy and Civic Engagement Project is to prepare students to lead nonprofit fundraising and giving activities," said Amy Nally, University coordinator of volunteer programs and service learning. "The program engages students in strategic grant-making activities and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and provides hands-on experience in identifying needs in the community, setting criteria for grants and administering funds."
Local grant recipients included:
- The Children and Family Services Center ($3,000). The center plans to use this money to further programs that provide healthy, developmental activities for children who have been subjected to abuse.
- Community Services Inc. ($1,000), which will help fund a fall back-to-school fair along with backpacks and school supplies for children and families in need.
- The Nodaway County Senior Center ($4,000), which plans to refurnish its kitchen and purchase appliances needed to continue weekly meals for older residents.
Before awarding the grants, participating Northwest students spoke with local officials and representatives from area non-profits. After determining two primary areas of need -- services for the children and the elderly -- they developed a request-for-proposal document that various charities used to apply for funding. Students then reviewed responses, interviewed finalists and spent class time discussing requests and forming a consensus on which programs to fund.
Nally said the University plans to continue the program in the future while broadening efforts to educate students about the role of non-profit organizations both nationally and within the Maryville/Nodaway County community. Of the original $15,000 given to Northwest by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Campus Compact, Nally said $7,000 has been saved for a new course offering. Her office plans to pursue fundraising initiatives in order to replenish the distributed funds.
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