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June 5, 2009
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:
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.
For more information, e-mail Amy Nally at email@example.com or call the Office of Student Affairs at 660.562.1242.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468