Students in the Mays Business School’s strategic philanthropy class at Texas A&M recently allocated $62,500 to five area nonprofits after doing months of research as part of the fall semester’s course.

According to a press release from the Mays Business School, one month into the class, the student board began evaluating 43 nonprofit applications for funding. The board narrowed down the list to 10 organizations that would be visited, with students conducting interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the organizations.

From that group, five nonprofits were selected to receive funding. Those receiving money from the class are: Family Promise, which helps families struggling with homelessness; K9s4COPS, which addresses the need for specially trained dogs to assist local police departments; Mission Reclaimed, which deals with urgent hunger-related needs; Mobility Worldwide, which provides dignity for those who are unable to walk; and Save Our Streets Ministries, which works to help those in drug- or gang-infested environments work toward a new way of life.

Funding for the grants comes from the Philanthropy Lab and — new this year — the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation’s Community Grant Program. Since the program’s inception, the class has distributed more than $250,000 to 18 organizations, 90 percent of which are in the Brazos Valley.

“Our students learn so much about philanthropy, and they learn to recognize giving at a high level,” Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones said in a statement of the students’ assumption of roles as board members while essentially running a private foundation for a semester. “They said how hard it is to give money. That’s not something most people understand until they are involved in the process.”

Kyle Gammenthaler, lecturer and coordinator for social impact initiatives at the school, said there were many organizations worthy of receiving funding.

“This class embraces the difficulty that surrounds the inescapable fact that our resources can’t fully measure up to our needs,” he said. “There are still pressing needs that require significantly more resources to solve, but we’ve taken a step forward. Every step forward is a step closer to solving problems that ail our society.”

 

December 31, 2017

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