Required Materials:


Surveys the role of the nonprofit and voluntary organizations in American society including the history, theory and challenges of the third sector. Includes a service learning project where students serve as philanthropists to their local community through the Students4Giving Project. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Recommended: BA 101.

Please note: This course qualifies as a business elective at PCC and PSU and as a PCC social science general education elective.


Students successfully completing this course will:

  1. Apply their knowledge of the nonprofit sector and its interrelationships with government and business to frame their perspectives on social issues
  2. Appropriately respond to basic legal, governing and ethical issues faced by nonprofit organizations
  3. Critically evaluate factors impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations around them
  4. Appreciate the diversity of social issues served by the nonprofit community
  5. Participate in civil society using various tools including philanthropy, volunteer service or nonprofit employment
  6. Appropriately respond to issues and potential conflicts involving international work performed by American nonprofits.


We will be using the course website on Blackboard extensively during the term to submit homework, share information, and download reading material and documents. You should be in the habit of checking your email and the discussion board several times a week in this course. Please go to this website and locate the syllabus. Also, post your introduction on the discussion board as a response to my introduction. This is your first assignment and is worth 5 points!


This course is not recommended for students who expect to miss more than one or two class sessions. Because attendance is so critical for participation in the group decisions made in this course, each of the 20 class sessions is worth 3 points, for a total of 60 points for the term. You can be forgiven for only two missed class sessions. Most importantly, you can only miss 4 classes and pass the course. You should be an active learner in the course and are expected to participate fully in class discussions. This course will involve the discussion of contentious and sometimes emotional topics and it will be important for us to maintain our critical thinking skills. We will cover some basics rules for maintaining a respectful and productive learning environment. Degrading comments towards anyone in the classroom or any group of people will not be tolerated under any circumstances. You will probably find that it is usually better to consider ideas than to state conclusions!

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should contact the instructor as early as possible, no later than the first week of the term.


All homework will be submitted online in Blackboard. Readings and homework assignment are shown on the attached Course Schedule. You are encouraged to discuss all assignments with your classmates, but the actual preparation of individual homework assignments must be done by each student. Because the entire class will be relying on your input for the Students4Giving project it is critical that all homework assignments be completed on a timely basis. Late homework will only be worth half credit and must be completed within one week of the original due date.


A term paper will be due at the end of the term covering the concepts learned in this class and including your reflections on the Students4Giving project. Guidelines for this paper will be discussed later in the term.


There will be one open-note exam during the term as shown in the course schedule. This exam will cover homework assignments, reading material and concepts covered by the guest speakers. If you are going to miss an exam, you must contact the instructor before the exam to schedule an alternate date. Failure to do this will result in a score of zero for the missed exam.


Students of Portland Community College are expected to behave as responsible members of the college community and to be honest and ethical in their academic work. PCC strives to provide students with the knowledge, skills, judgment, and wisdom they need to function in society as educated adults. To falsify or fabricate the results of one’s research; to present the words, ideas, data, or work of another as one’s own; or to cheat on an examination corrupts the essential process of higher education.


In September 2007 Campus Compact and the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund announced an alliance to educate and inspire a future generation of philanthropists in a new era of giving. Portland Community College was one of five academic institutions in the nation to receive $15,000 to create a donor advised fund to offer grants to non-profit organizations within their communities. This project has continued its funding through student fundraising efforts including online auctions and faculty textbook drives. As Students4Giving participants learn about the non-profit world from their regular course curriculum they identify a specific community need for that term’s Students4Giving project. They identify nonprofits serving this community need in the Portland Metro area and ask these nonprofits to submit a request for proposal (grant application). The students evaluate these grants using criteria learned in class, conduct site visits to the nonprofit organizations and select the grant recipients. Students4Giving emphasizes the importance of understanding social issues, the grant-making process, and the role played by philanthropists and nonprofit organizations in meeting the needs of our community. Please visit for more information.


Your grade in this course will be based on the material covered.

Complete Mandatory Pre-Survey in Blackboard (available through Introduction, Syllabus or Survey Module), 5

Introduction on Blackboard discussion board,  5

Selecting Community Needs Assignment (Blackboard assignment), 10

Finding Nonprofits Assignment (Blackboard assignment), 10

Accounting and Form 990 Assignment (Blackboard assignment), 10

Midterm, 20

Grant Reviews – Round 1 (Blackboard assignment), 15

Site Visit Narratives (posted to Blackboard discussion board), 15

Select Final Grant Recipient (Blackboard assignment), 15


(20 class sessions & 2 absences forgiven with less than 5 to pass), 60

Term Paper (Blackboard assignment), 20

Complete Mandatory Post-Survey in Blackboard, 5

Awards Ceremony (required attendance & participation), 10

Total points 200

A = 90%

B = 80%

C = 70%

D = 60%



  • Select site visits and start scheduling
  • Read Site Visit materials
  • Complete site visits & post narratives on discussion board
  • Post by night of 5/19


  • Site Visits
  • Complete site visits & post narratives on discussion board
  • Post by night of 5/19


  • Site Visits
  • Complete site visits & post narratives on discussion board
  • Read Mercy Corps material
  • Post by night of 5/19


  • Discuss progress of site visits
  • International Perspective
  • Speaker: Nick MacDonald, MercyCorps
  • Select Students4Giving grant recipients assignment
  • (please note special due date) 5/23


  • Start discussion of final selection Reread proposals based on class discussion 5 / 2 6


  • Finish final selection
  • Read Idealist: Ch’s 12-13 & Conclusion
  • Due 6/2


  • Memorial Day No classes


  • Nonprofit Employment
  • Speaker: Glenna Barrick-Harwood
  • Complete mandatory post-survey and submit term papers in Blackboard and get ready for awards ceremony by 6/7


  • Papers due on Blackboard
  • Awards Ceremony (Required attendance & participation)
  • Enjoy your summer!