Hands On Philanthropy: A High School Course at Kentucky Country Day School
- What is philanthropy?
- What is stewardship?
- How do financials work in a nonprofit organization?
- What is the importance of partnerships between nonprofits, government, and businesses (for profits)?
- How do you raise money?
- How do you give away money?
- How do you put on an event?
Hands On Philanthropy is a nationally recognized semester-long course that introduces students to the importance of philanthropy in society and philanthropy’s historical and philosophical role. Judith Miller, a Kentucky Country Day (KCD) parent, wanted KCD students to learn about effective philanthropy by experiencing the responsibility and challenges of making grants. With the support of a $10,000 grant from the Miller Family Foundation, KCD began a philanthropy class in November 2001. In an act of great foresight and discipline, the inaugural class decided that future classes should benefit from the Miller’s generosity. The students decided to name the class “The Artemis Fund” and established a donor advised fund within the Community Foundation of Louisville. The class, serving as trustees, also manages The Artemis Fund under the bylaws students created in February 2002. The course is offered for-credit and required for students in KCD’s Honors Program (but it can also be taken as an elective for those not in the Program).
To develop the course’s vehicle for grantmaking funds to be secured and accessed by students and to identify partners (inside the school and out) that will assist with the success of a Hands On Philanthropy course.
This lesson covers the groundwork for the creation of the grantmaking fund and program of a philanthropy course. It specifically provides background on the particular approach taken by Kentucky Country Day, which included: 1) to create a dedicated fund at the local community foundation that continues to support grantmaking for each successive class of students; and 2) to form a “board” with class members serving in board positions (such as Chair and Treasurer) and teaching some board basics (like member responsibilities and the importance of by-laws).
To introduce students to the concept of philanthropy
To develop a basic understanding about the role of philanthropy in the history of the United States
To learn about the different philosophies of three renowned philanthropists.
Image source: John D. Rockefeller in 1885. From Wikimedia Commons. Original source: Rockefeller Archive Center.
To introduce students to the financial side of operating a nonprofit organization and to the financial reporting they are required to do for the IRS.
To help students understand topics related to grantmaking and philanthropy through the experiences and perspectives of members of local philanthropic organizations.
To bring awareness to the importance of partnerships between nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government agencies and how they can work together.
To introduce students to fundraising and to guide them as they raise funds that will be used by the class for grantmaking to selected organizations
This lesson briefly explains the process a group goes through as they deliberate and decide upon which applicant organizations will receive grant awards.
To bring members of the local and school community together to showcase what the students learned while taking the class.
To have students find a problem that needs to be solved or a cause in which they have interest and develop a creative presentation to the class.
To reflect on what students learned from this philanthropy class and to gather their feedback on the class experience.