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IUPUI philanthropy students learn by doing in class that teaches how to give



INDIANAPOLIS — As their final semester assignment, students in one Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis class gave away $10,000 in December.

Students taking the IUPUI “Learning by Giving” course taught in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy presented grants of $6,500 and $3,500 respectively to two charities:

  • Volunteers of America Indiana’s Barrier Busters program, which meets basic needs for single women transitioning out of incarceration and other difficult circumstances. It reduces recidivism and increases the likelihood of successful transitions for the women and their children.
  • Starfish Initiative, which supports and prepares promising, economically disadvantaged students for college and career success. A high percentage of students served attend and complete college.

As the class name implies, “Learning by Giving” students learn by doing. They decided what community issues to address and wrote requests for grant proposals, conducted site visits, evaluated applications and then decided where to award the grant money. United Way of Central Indiana provided a guest speaker during the semester and disseminated the requests for proposals to nonprofits in Central Indiana.

Grant funds are provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation, a national program founded by Doris Buffett, sister of well-known philanthropist Warren Buffett.

Representatives from Volunteers of American, Starfish Initiative and the United Way of Central Indiana joined Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students, faculty and staff for a grant presentation ceremony Dec. 17 at the school, currently housed in the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing building, 550 W. North St.

The charity representatives highlighted how the funds will make a significant difference for children and families in need in Central Indiana. Students discussed how they selected the recipients and shared their experiences in learning to give responsibly.

Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.