LEARNING BY GIVING: USING STUDENT PHILANTHROPY TO TEACH WATER RESOURCES
The goals of experiential philanthropy include making a difference in the civic life of the community through learning. A typical model includes a community donor providing a class with a sum of money and the students decide how to invest the money in a way that will provide community benefit. While the topic of philanthropy is easily applied to social issues or public administration, I have uniquely applied experiential philanthropy to the study of water resources. In a general education course, students research water-related nonprofit organizations, review proposals, and interview top choices. Throughout the project, students learn from community members about the state of local water bodies and ongoing protection efforts. Student feedback is tremendous in supporting the use of experiential philanthropy to learn about water resources. Course alum found that participating in philanthropy improved their interest in the course, their ability to apply course content, and their development of skills such as problem solving and working collaboratively. Overall, after the opportunity to engage in giving and learning with a group of their peers, young people are able to understand philanthropy’s impact and continue to increase their community stewardship.
Kristy Hopfensperger (Primary Presenter/Author), Northern Kentucky University, firstname.lastname@example.org;