April 2, 2010
Students get hands-on experience with non-profit leadership and management
MARYVILLE, Mo. - For the third consecutive spring, a small group of Northwest students are gaining hands-on experience in philanthropy and building partnerships with Maryville's non-profit organizations through Northwest's non-profit leadership and management class.
Three students are participating this year in the course, which will award up to $8,000 in grant money to 501(c)3 non-profit organizations working in the areas of youth health and development, elderly, and animal rescue and preservation.
Amy Nally, Northwest's director of volunteer, service learning and civic engagement, instructs the course. With grant-funding provided by Campus Compact and the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund , the course objective is to educate students about philanthropy with an emphasis on the community, grant-making and fundraising. The course gives students experience in all facets of non-profit work, from development to promotion.
Nally said she hopes the course helps students develop a passion for giving to others, in addition to an understanding of the Maryville community's needs.
"So often, the students get here and they get so engrossed in the University campus, and they don't really know what's going on outside, and they don't know that we have several non-profits within our community and in Nodaway County that need volunteers," Nally said.
"I want them to feel like they're a part of the community," she added. "Most of all, I want them to feel the satisfaction of what it means to give to others. It's a great educational piece, and they can take that with them into other jobs that they will do. It just makes them more well-rounded students."
Laura Yeager, a junior organizational communication major from Omaha, Neb., said she took the course because she's interested in non-profit work and she wanted to deepen her knowledge of the field.
"I've learned that it is important to become educated on the organizations around you that may need financial assistance in order to keep their doors open," she said. "All of the non-profit organizations that we toured in Nodaway County are extremely beneficial to our community."
Yeager added, "I would highly encourage others to take this course. It is a great learning experience. I learned not only about non-profit work, but also about myself."
The course curriculum teaches students about the non-profit world and helps them identify specific community needs. The students request grant applications from local non-profits and evaluate the applications using criteria they've learned. They also conduct site visits to the non-profit organizations and select the grant recipients. This year, students also have organized fundraising projects to build funding for Northwest's Students4Giving mission.
The course is offered each spring in coordination with a grantsmanship course offered by the department of health, physical education, recreation and dance. Nally said the non-profit leadership and management course has been popular with marketing and education students.
Service learning at Northwest
Northwest has had a long affiliation with Missouri Campus Compact, a network of college and universities dedicated to strengthening civic engagement and service-learning partnerships between Missouri's postsecondary institutions and the communities they serve. At the national level, Campus Compact is a coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents, representing more than 6 million students.
Service learning projects at Northwest began taking shape in 2003, and involvement is increasing, Nally said. More students are getting involved in projects, and more instructors are incorporating it into their course curriculum across campus. Recently Northwest was named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Northwest's Students4Giving mission is to educate participating students in the field of charitable giving by identifying and allocating funds to local non-profits that strive to solve certain social problems, have a strong impact, and demonstrate financial need.
For more about information about Northwest's service learning programs and the non-profit leadership and management class, contact Nally at ANALLY@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1954.
Campus Compact and Students4Giving
In September 2009, Campus Compact and the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund announced funding to educate and inspire a future generation of philanthropists in a new era of giving. Northwest was one of five academic institutions in the nation to receive $12,000 to create a donor-advised fund to offer grants to non-profit organizations within their communities.
Students4Giving, a joint initiative of Campus Compact and the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund, acknowledges and advances philanthropic education efforts at colleges and universities throughout the country by providing educational resources and funding to engage students in strategic grant-making activities and partnerships with local non-profit organizations. The program allows them to have hands-on experience identifying needs in the community, setting criteria for grants and administering funds.
For more information about Campus Compact and Students4Giving, visit http://www.compact.org/initiatives/college-student-philanthropy/students4giving.
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