Grant-making on the Ground

By: Sadie
Sadie is a participant in the Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Changemakers class. 

This week in ELP we discussed creating mutually beneficial grantor-grantee relationships 
and expanded on the grantmaking process. So far, I have learned that the grantmaking process can be a hard but mutually beneficial for the grantor and grantee. Through a Request for Proposal or Letter of Intent, the grantor can identify the benefits or challenges involved in giving a grant to the grantee. Then, a grant application can further identify if giving the grant will be an efficient use of the money. The grantor can measure if there will be a mutually beneficial grantor-grantee relationship through these steps that help to measure the effect on the community the grantee will make with the money. 

We have learned that maintaining a mutually beneficial grantor-grantee relationship can ultimately lead to greater and stronger impacts on the community. Through communication, trust, and social impact, this relationship can become stronger. In our class this week, we had the pleasure of having Lauren Wolter from The Once Upon A Time Foundation speak and share her experience with us. The Once Upon A Time Foundation has three sectors; one of which is the Philanthropy Lab. The Philanthropy Lab organizes classes at several colleges and universities in which students are granted money that they can donate to an organization of their choice after learning about philanthropy. Similar to our learning at Allowance for Good, students are given the chance to learn about philanthropy and the grantmaking process and apply their learning to the real world. As a future college student, I think this is a great program to have because many students are unaware of the specifics of philanthropy and its impacts. As part of a foundation, we had the opportunity to hear Lauren’s perspective on the grantmaking process. She spoke of how grantmaking can truly be mutually beneficial and how that can benefit various communities. 

Because of my learning about the grantmaking process in Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy, I am now inspired to somehow be involved in the grantmaking process in the future. I am a catalyst for good because I think everyone deserves to have the same rights, resources, and opportunities as others and non-profit organizations and grantmaking is a way to bring this to action in my future. In the meantime, I will continue to educate myself and others on philanthropy and global change so that I can apply this knowledge in the future along with my peers.

Family Foundations: Learning into Practice

By: Jackson
Jackson is a participant in Allowance for Good's Winter 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class.

As someone who is relatively familiar with philanthropy and who thinks that they know almost everything, I am delightfully surprised by how much the ELP Explorers class has taught me over the last few weeks. However, this week’s course in particular connected with me on a different level. Our class had the opportunity to speak with high-ranking members of various foundations and gain insight as to how philanthropy works outside of our office space.

The majority of our time was spent learning about family foundations. A family foundation is one whose funds are derived from the members of a family. We learned about how family foundations operate, how they determine their grantees, and what they do to ensure success. We also learned that simply donating money as a family is not the same as forming a family foundation. While donating money may be a charitable and generous thing that families do around a dinner table, family foundations make certain that those same donations provide long term aid for worthy organizations.

If given the opportunity to create my own family foundation, I would support three things: providing children with the proper resources for formal education, working to maintain the environment, and researching cures for disabilities and mental illness. In regards to education, I strongly believe that all children deserve an opportunity to learn and grow. Even though more children throughout the world are receiving a formal education, the numbers are still not where they could be. I believe that through proper emphasis and funding, every child in the world could someday say that they have been to school.

Next, I feel that maintaining the environment and creating a more eco-friendly society is crucial. With global warming intensifying by the day, it is time for us to change how we live. Specifically, I would fund efforts to increase the use of clean, reusable energy and decrease the burning of fossil fuels.

Illness and disability research is a cause that is very close to my heart. Various members of my family have suffered through Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other diseases. Though I do my best every day to support them, sometimes that is not enough. That is why, if I were to form a family foundation, I would strive to support these research organizations.

The ELP Explorers class has taught me so much about philanthropy and leadership. With the skills that I learn in this course, I hope to someday use them to make the world a healthier, cleaner, and generally better place.

Jackson discusses the definition of philanthropy with his classmate Arielle.

Using Philanthropy for Gender Equality

By: Hannah
Hannah is a participant in Allowance for Good's Autumn 2014 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class. 

Recently, I have become quite a feminist. Not the stereotypical, angry, hairy-legged feminist, but the person who genuinely believes that the world needs to see men and women as equals. Nothing makes me more disappointed than hearing about the injustices women suffer of a daily basis just by being female. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been in support of gender equality, but only in the past few months have I become so attuned to extent of the problem both local and worldwide.

If I were to be fortunate enough to have a family foundation, I would dedicate it to making the woman’s voice heard through education. I choose education because the only way to make lasting change is by inspiring the next generation. School teaches young girls more than just academics—it teaches them they have a future. It teaches them they have power to do anything they set their mind to and will create the spark needed to for us to obtain true gender equality.

Most of my family foundation’s money would go to help international organizations dedicated to ending the gender gap in places like the Middle East where sexism is most prominent. This is because the money would make the most dramatic difference there, and I would want each penny to be used as efficiently as possible. I would also give to organizations that support women’s health because it is equally important for women to be educated in body and mind. After all, happiness and success are only possible in good health.

The rest of the money would go to organizations that focus on women’s rights in the US because American women experience sexism on a daily basis. We have come a long way, but the end of gender-based discrimination is still far off. One staggering statistic is the fact that females make up fifty percent of college graduates, but only five percent of CEOs. That resonates with me because it points out exactly what we have accomplished and what still needs to be done. It shows we have given girls dreams, but we have not turned them into reality just yet. I think that if women’s rights organizations get the support they need, we have a real chance of creating a tomorrow where no woman is disadvantaged just because of her sex.

Hannah works with her ELP classmates to create their theoretical family foundation.

Teen Explores Individual Philanthropy, Passions

By: Sadie
Sadie is a participant in Allowance for Good's Autumn 2014 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class. 

Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others. Helping others is a key component of human nature and can benefit the giver and the receiver. Thus far, ELP has taught me what it means to be a catalyst for good and how you can bring the concept of philanthropy into your everyday life as well as the future. Being a young catalyst for good means that you will do everything in your power to help those near and far and to raise awareness for issues you are passionate about. Personally, I am a catalyst for good because everyone around the globe deserves to be safe, happy, and healthy and deserves to have the basic needs of life that I and many others are so lucky to have.

I have realized that I, as part of my family and various communities, have been a philanthropist most of my life. My family has given holiday gifts to families in need for years, donated to various organizations, and I have volunteered at soup kitchens and other community events and have been involved in community service club at school. I have always envisioned being a philanthropist in the future. I am not yet sure if this entails setting aside parts of my income or something bigger, like something that has to do with my career.

This past week in Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers, we learned about human rights. We began by reading and analyzing the Universal Declaration of Rights (created by the United Nations). These rights included some as simple as “don’t discriminate” and others such as “the right to education.” After reading these thirty items, we decided that they all should be basic human rights but the majority of them are not followed globally. We also looked at the UN Millenium Development Goals, the goal is for these to be completed by 2015. After studying different opinions of human rights, I have decided that one cause I am particularly passionate about is education.

I believe that education is a necessity for all because it is the starting block for every other human right. Unfortunately, education is not universally available. If a community is educated, those in that community could use their skills to create a solution to poverty in their own community, for example. This would spread like wildfire because once one group of children are educated, others will be inspired and/or the educated are able to help their community in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t have. The fact that so many children around the world are not getting an education is one of the main reasons I am a catalyst for good. In the future, I would love to be involved in this cause whether it is doing something hands-on abroad or from the United States. For now, the best I can do is to raise awareness of this global issue and encourage myself and others to be grateful for the education that we do have. I believe that one day this can change, and I would love to help in some way towards this cause because all deserve to be educated.

Sadie writes, "I am a Catalyst for Good because everyone deserves to be safe, happy, and healthy.