Engagement As Gold As Giving Dollars: Join Charitable Words Scholars Advisors

9 years, 6 months ago Comments Off on Engagement As Gold As Giving Dollars: Join Charitable Words Scholars Advisors
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Charitable Words Scholar Elese Daniel and Advisor Elissa Yancey, checking audio levels on a documentary project.

Charitable Words Scholar Elese Daniel and Advisor Elissa Yancey check audio levels on a documentary from the University of Cincinnati’s “Telling True Stories: Tanzania” project.

Imagine a student intern assigned to awaken the memories and engage in the wonders of life with an 80-year-old dementia patient. Put an advisor with a doctorate in person-centered care for the aging at her side.

Imagine a 20-year-old journalism student assigned to a media campaign for a nonprofit’s fundraising event. Experienced writers, photographers and video editors are a text away.

That’s what Charitable Words Scholars is about – the power of engaged giving and collective action.

It’s the power of a group of individuals with shared passion and common purpose leveraging their time and talents to make a difference beyond sending dollars to a cause.

Of course, contributions are needed and appreciated to fund Charitable Words Scholars at nonprofits, the fastest growing sector of our economy but most often understaffed. Students, facing an average $25,000 in college debt, appreciate the funds and experience for their resumes. It’s a win-win from the start. Add those the nonprofits’ programs serve and the benefit to the entire community by investing in a generation with purpose, and you can mark up a couple more “W’s” on the scoresheet.

To win more, we’ll be needing to strengthen our team.

Charitable Words is preparing a capacity-building campaign to raise funds to grow the program from the 20 students sponsored and assigned in the past year to double that in 2014 and scale going forward.

Funding will be important, and sincerely and deeply appreciated. But this post is not about money. It’s about the power of engaged giving and collective action – the importance of friends, supporters and advisors and close collaboration with nonprofit partners. Our advisory team offers what fundraising can’t buy: The leveraged assets of their knowledge, skills and experience yield big returns on modest investments of time and talent.

Engagement by friends, supporters and advisors exponentially enrichens Charitable Words Scholars.

That’s what we’re asking for today: Advisors and mentors in the areas of person-centered care and aging in place; writers, photographers and videographers; social media and crowdfunding; musicians and artists; marketing, promotion and event planning. Please take a look at Charitable Words fields of focus and think about what you or someone you know might be interested in helping with.

Focus areas include:  Dignified Aging (person-centered care and aging in place), Service to Those Who Served (veterans of all ages and eras),  Lifelong Learning (second-chance adult education and job skills, literacy), Arts for All Ages (therapeutic and enrichment music and arts), Building Bridges (cross-cultural, community, neighborhoods) and One World (learning and character-building experiences with assignments related to education, sustainable living projects in developing countries. Also, all nonprofits we talk with are looking for help and guidance in the areas of marketing, communications, fundraising and board development.

We like to check in with our advisors at times in selecting students and assessing the right match with a nonprofit that would offer a meaningful learning experience. We call upon their expertise and experience in Charitable Words Scholars’ focus areas to help us make decisions about where there’s greatest need and potential for impact. Sometimes, the students just want to run an idea past a mentor, or get help with framing a story or video project. They don’t ask for much. Just a chance to change the world, a little bit with a little help.

Engaged giving.  Collective action. Learning and lending a hand.

That’s what the students crave and nonprofit partners value – engaged and caring mentors and resources to be an email away or spend a few hours over coffee. No bureaucracy here, no board meetings. It’s all voluntary and on your terms. Any contact by the students or nonprofits would be cleared through Charitable Words, with the magnitude and duration of any commitment mutually agreed upon.

Most times, that’s just an email once in a while. Lunch would be nice. We’re found in coffee shops most often.

Thanks to the current Charitable Words Scholars advisors, many of whom have been with us from the start. We hope to form a team of around 20-30 as we prepare for next year and add educational and nonprofit partners and projects. Geography is not a barrier. Our work is primarily centered in Southwest Ohio, but there are programs developing at schools and places with specialized programs and unique needs – such as  a scholarship for veterans in gerontology studies at San Diego State University. Advisors with international experience and guidance are needed, too,

If you are interested in joining the Charitable Words Scholars team, please let me know.

But whatever the engagement, it is precious time, well-spent. A small investment with potential for big returns.

Tom Callinan


513 378-9376

Please share with friends and colleagues you think may be interested, too.

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