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Maxwell undergrads hold reception to award $5,000 grant
Students in the Maxwell School’s public affairs program’s “Philanthropy and You” class will host a reception on Wednesday, Dec. 5, to announce the name of a local nonprofit that will be awarded a $5,000 grant by the class; 25 organizations submitted applications. The event will take place at 11 a.m. in the Maxwell Founder’s Room.
The ceremony is the culmination of a semester of work by the students to learn about the world of nonprofits and the importance of philanthropic giving through time, treasure and talent. They learn how to identify healthy organizations and which nonprofits are likely to be the best stewards of their money and make the most effective use of their time.
This is the second year the class has been offered and a grant awarded to a local nonprofit. It is made possible through the generosity of local SU alumni and a Central New York foundation. The primary donor for this year is the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, Trustee Bob Falter ’66. Other alumni donors include SU Trustee Judy Mower; SU Trustee James Breuer and his wife, Cathy; and Lori Schor Ulanow.
During this semester, the class first formed a board of directors—the Council of Young Philanthropists (CYP)—where students served as board members, electing officers and identifying tasks. Through research, council members determined the most pressing needs of the Central New York area and selected a focus area for the semester. This year, students decided education is a priority, with an emphasis on organizations that serve those living below the poverty line, youth and/or refugees, asylees and immigrant communities.
Students mailed letters to area nonprofits likely to be serving these populations and invited the organizations to complete and submit the grant application along with a proposal. Each organization was required to provide substantiation of its incorporation as a nonprofit, as well as other financial documents.
Using various measures, students narrowed down the 25 applications to nine agencies and made site visits to each of these nonprofits. Industry financial ratios were calculated, and information about each proposal and the organization were considered by the students in making their selection.
Last year’s recipient of the grant was Vera House, which used the funds to visit area schools, reaching out to 3,897 youth to educate them about ways to deal with bullying, violence and sexual aggression.
“Philanthropy and You” is part of the Community Benchmarks Program in the Public Affairs Program and is taught by Carol Dwyer, CBP director.
Organizations interested in being included on the CYP mailing list for next year, or those interested in supporting the grant-making efforts, should email Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.