Giving Compass' Take:

The author explains the importance of courses on philanthropy and nonprofit management at the university level and examines the benefits for students enrolled in these classes.

Could students and the sector benefit from having mandatory philanthropy courses for freshmen?

Read the list of reasons why students and universities are ready for philanthropy to be commonplace in higher education.

Attitudes formed and lessons learned in the college years can truly shape our lives forever. For this reason, it’s not surprising to see that an increasing number of universities have brought philanthropy to the classroom in a highly literal way: with degree programs in philanthropy and nonprofit management.

Considering the rapid growth of philanthropy in recent years, it’s no surprise that institutions of higher learning are adding the art of giving to their humanities offerings.

While the first School of Philanthropy was introduced at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2013, coursework in philanthropy has been a part of curricula for decades- even inspiring a curiosity-laden piece in the New York Timesall the way back in 1997, where the author marveled at a fivefold increase in philanthropy graduate programs nationwide. Today, IUPUI also offers undergrad degrees as well as doctorates in the discipline, a clear indication that this course of study is only growing in demand.

But some are skeptical, asking, what is it exactly that they’re doing in these programs, and why?

The purpose of most organized philanthropic studies is training students for work in the nonprofit sector, which represents an estimated $878 billion chunk of the national GDP. Upon graduation, up to ten percent of matriculating students will enter this field, many holding degrees purposefully designed for navigating the charitable sphere.

Philanthropy as a degree offering is somewhat of an accelerator, then, which leads interested students directly to a career from which they can satisfy their ambitions while simultaneously making the world a better place.

Researchers found that students who learned philanthropy in the classroom were more likely to make charitable contributions, volunteer, and serve on nonprofit boards at a much higher rate than others.

Read the full article about philanthropy in the classroom by Jeff Greenstein at Medium