Giving Compass' Take:

• There are more college courses now focusing on nuanced topics such as experiential philanthropy and an initiative called The Philanthropy Lab. Both will hopefully introduce more student involvement to the philanthropic sector.

• What are the benefits of teaching students about philanthropy in college? Is it possible for higher education institutions to partner with philanthropists in the creation of course materials?

Philanthropic thought is growing in higher ed.   There are some professors who believe that business courses need to be taught with a social impact lens. 

When people think of philanthropists, they usually think of billionaires like Warren Buffett or Charlier Munger. But being a philanthropist is not about donating billions, or even millions. It’s about donating any amount of time or money to a worthy cause.

Today, students in colleges across the United States are being taught how they can be philanthropists — without having millions in their bank accounts.

Experiential Philanthropy

This type of philanthropy is focused on taking a more hands-on approach. The class is given a set amount of money — usually ten thousand dollars. They then decide which local charities to give it to. Classes like this are now being given at about eighty schools in the United States.

Philanthropy Lab

The Philanthropy Lab is an initiative that was created by Geoffrey Raynor, based on experiential philanthropy. What makes this approach interesting is that it’s become popular in many colleges where the students come from a wealthy background — like Princeton and the University of Chicago.

But a student does not need to come from wealth to be enrolled, or even be seeking wealth.

Over 600 students from Northern Kentucky University who took the experiential philanthropy class were surveyed. The results showed that a student who took the class was more interested in charitable efforts than a student who did not take the class. However, the obvious drawback for these types of classes is providing the money to donate.

Read the full article about philanthropy college courses by William Nakulski at Medium