NKU Students, Mayerson Philanthropy Project Partner With Charitable Words

NKU Students, Mayerson Philanthropy Project Partner With Charitable Words
8 years, 5 months ago Comments Off on NKU Students, Mayerson Philanthropy Project Partner With Charitable Words
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Above: Students from Northern Kentucky University’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project class experience hands-on learning as volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul in Covington.

Students from Northern Kentucky University’s nonprofit management program will collaborate with Charitable Words on a Spring 2015 class project to help raise funds for Charitable Words Scholars and get an up-close view of engaged philanthropy and collective action.

Funds the Resource Acquisition and Management class raise will be supplemented by a $1,000 contribution by NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, a flagship program of The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU. The Mayerson project also will co-sponsor a storytelling award to presented to an area nonprofit.

Charitable Words Scholars connects nonprofits with students and recent graduates, volunteer advisors and pro bono resources to help nonprofits “shape and share their stories to the right audiences on the right platforms.” Since 2012, more than 50 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky students and recent graduates have been assigned to more than 30 nonprofits in internships and special assignments.

Since NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project launched in 2000, more than 2,800 students from over 30 disciplines have taken a student philanthropy class and together the students have helped distribute $860,000 to 318 agencies.

“For 15 years, the Mayerson project has provided opportunities for NKU students to learn about issues in our region and nonprofit organizations trying to address them,” said Julie Olberding, director of NKU’s Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management Certificate Programs. Olberding also serves in Charitable Words network of volunteer professional advisors.


Professor Julie Olberding

“Through this process, students realize that they can make a difference in the world and that every dollar – or hour – can go far in helping nonprofits help people and places,” Olberding said. “NKU faculty and staff have been on the cutting edge of student philanthropy nationally and internationally, trying new and creative approaches that are appropriate for their courses and students.”

The NKU class also will attend Social Venture Partner’s “Fast Pitch” event Feb. 11, 2015 at Memorial Hall in which eight nonprofit organizations will have three minutes to make the case for their mission and program impacts before an audience of more than 400.

SVP will award more than $30,000 in unrestricted grant and scholarship opportunities that night, including a $2,500 “Good Story, Told Well” award, co-sponsored by Charitable Words and The Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project.

Click here for tickets to Fast Pitch

Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, is contributing the $5,000 unrestricted grant that students from area colleges will award to the nonprofit of their choice. The class from NKU will be joined with classes from UC, Xavier and Denison to collectively debate and decide the winner of the Student Choice Award.

“Fast Pitch educates, connects and accelerates in a very engaged way,” said SVP executive director Joan Kaup. “Social Venture Partners are excited to have so many students of today and philanthropists of tomorrow in our audience.”

“This new collaborative effort with Charitable Words and SVP will give students a much better understanding of engaged giving and collective action, which are important trends in the areas of philanthropy and nonprofits,” Olberding said.

Student surveys demonstrate the power of these classes to raise student awareness, according to Mark Neikirk, executive director of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement.  “At the end of the 2014 academic year, 90 percent of the students who took a student philanthropy class reported increased awareness of community needs. A similar percentage reported a personal responsibility to help address those needs.”

Nonprofits, too, report benefits, both to their agencies and to the students, Neikirk said.

“The NKU students will be involved from the front end of fundraising through the experiences of the Scholars involved and outcomes for nonprofit partners,” said Tom Callinan, founder and director of Charitable Words. Callinan is a former SVP partner and served on SVP’s international board.

“There’s no shortage of work to be done at nearly 8,000 nonprofits in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky – and 1.8 million nationwide. Nonprofits are the fastest-growing sector of the economy representing 10 percent of the workforce,” Callinan said.  “But their budgets and staffing are limited and students with a “passion for purpose” and engaged volunteer advisors make a significant impact.”

“Charitable Words works with nonprofit partners to measure outcomes – and engaged giving and collective impact yield exponential benefits to charitable contributions,” Callinan said.  “Organizations such as SVP and Charitable Words go beyond just writing checks.”

Currently, seven Scholars from NKU, The University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College are assigned to media awareness, marketing, digital development and multimedia projects with:

  • Kicks For Kids, a Covington-based nonprofit that provides fun and enrichment for children at risk.
  • Wordplay, a Cincinnati nonprofit that provides free tutoring, literacy & creative writing programs for students.
  • People Working Cooperatively’s ‘Ramp It Up For Veterans’ campaign, which provides home repairs and accessibility improvements to veterans of all eras.

All Charitable Words Scholars projects involve paid internships or assignments, Callinan said, helping students with the rising costs of education.

The learnings of the NKU philanthropy program stay with the students after graduation, Olberding said.

“I did a study a few years ago that found that Mayerson alumni donate, volunteer and serve on nonprofit boards at a much higher rate than the average American.  Specifically, 86% of these alumni made charitable contributions within the past year, 71% volunteered and 15% served on nonprofit boards.”

Studies have shown that internships and related experiences increase graduates’ chances of finding jobs, Callinan added. “And 8 of 10 who participate in such work stay in the region, giving back to their communities and the local economy.

“It’s a win-win-win – for nonprofits, students and their community.”

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