Pay it Forward: Strengthening Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy

The Pay it Forward: Strengthening Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy initiative is sponsored by Ohio Campus Compact in collaboration with Kentucky Campus Compact and Michigan Campus Compact. Pay it Forward addresses critical economic needs in communities through student-led grant making and volunteerism through a focus in three needs areas: children and youth programs; neighborhood development and revitalization; and hunger, homelessness, and health issues.

Through a competitive process, $5,000 grants are awarded to college courses infused with a philanthropy component to provide students with the intellectual knowledge and practical experiences needed to manage philanthropic funding. Each course awards $4,500 to local nonprofits (501(c)3) as chosen by the class and $500 may be used by the course for administrative expenses.

Students in the course identify community needs and research the nonprofit sector through interviews and site-visits in an effort to select local nonprofit organizations that meet that need. Students issue and evaluate RPFs and engage in a group decision-making process to award funds. In addition, students are required to serve at least 15 volunteer hours with a nonprofit agency during the course.

Participating campuses can apply for funding for up to 4 courses and must demonstrate institutional commitment through the formation of a campus team. The campus team is made up of the following roles: the campus liaison, a development officer, a community liaison, and all participating faculty. At the end of each term, participating students, faculty, and community partners complete an assessment in an effort to advance knowledge and practice in the area of student philanthropy.

Funding for Pay it Forward is made possible through the generous support of the Corporation for National and Community Service: Learn and Serve America.

Various colleges in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky
Contact Person: Kirsten Fox, Program Director, Student Philanthropy, Ohio Campus Compact
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