As the semester came to a close, students in Visiting Lecturer Nancy Lippe’s course Experimenting with Philanthropy awarded grants totaling $20,000 to organizations in Chinatown, Medford, and Somerville.
Offered through the Experimental College in the School of Arts and Sciences, the course has awarded a total of $70,000 to dozens of community organizations since 2007. Formerly funded by the Sunshine Lady Foundation, this year’s course doubled the grant amount through support from the Learning by Giving Foundation and the Highland Street Foundation.
In class, students explored every aspect of philanthropic organizations, from evaluating individual proposals, to assessing a nonprofit’s health and potential, and thinking through the philosophy, priorities, and desired impacts of charitable giving. The group also organized a day of service at the Somerville community center the Elizabeth Peabody House.
To find organizations to support, the class turned to Barbara Rubel, director of community relations, and Shirley Mark, director of Tisch College’s Lincoln Filene Center for Community Partnerships (LFC).
“With the help of Barbara, Shirley, and the new Campus2Community site, we were able to learn about community needs, and locate some terrific organizations,” said Lippe.
A resource developed by the LFC, Campus2Community is an online forum for building and sustaining campus-community partnerships. For access to the site, log in with your Tufts UTLN or contact Shirley.Mark@tufts.edu.
This year, students awarded funds to four organizations:
$2,000 to the Philip Brooks House Association for their summer camp, Chinatown Adventure.
$4, 000 to the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence for life skills and computer literacy programs.
$5,200 to the English for Speakers of Other Languages program at the Medford Family Resource Center.
The largest grant, for $8,800, was made to the Somerville Homeless Coalition, completing funding for construction of a walk-in refrigerator at the Project SOUP food pantry, which will dramatically increase the amount of fresh produce they can distribute.
Originally published July 2012