Week 8

It is sad to see this program come to a close as it has come to be a large part of our student council class. From Main Street Philanthropy I have learned the ins and outs of how to best donate my time and money. But what I hold as the most important thing that I got from this experience was a change within myself. From this program my eyes were open to the world of nonprofits. I never realized how many nonprofits there were and the impact that they have on the people who they are for and the people who work for them. It was an amazing chance to be on the giving side of charities. I didn’t expect for the charities we donated to to be so passionate and excited about our giving. Their passion for what they do rubbed off on me and made me want to be a part of their charities by donating my time and resources in the future. I think that was the main goal of this program and I am more than grateful for being given this experience!

Week 6

This has been one of the final weeks of the program and we have made our final decisions as to where we would like to donate our allotted money. By using the Make-A-Difference cards to find our area of interest, looking at charities from a quantitative perspective, and having a qualitative analysis we were able to choose just which charity we would like to donate to. Working in teams has helped by providing support and teammates that have similar interests. The team that I’m a part of, the Hearts of Hope, has decided to donate to different charities within our area our interest, but have worked together to complete an analysis for each. I am really excited to have the opportunity to distribute checks to local charities and see the effects that our work will have!

Week 5

It has been interesting to see how this program is coming together as we near the end. Not only have we chosen a charity to donate to, but we have also learned the responsible way of giving and realized the effects of doing so.
This week we each interviewed a family member, mentor, or friend to see their viewpoint about donating. This definitely impacted me more than anything we have done so far. I chose to interview my father, a man who I live with day to day but don’t truly realize all that he does for others. I was surprised to hear the well formulated responses about giving and the effects that his comments had on my attitude. There is one quote that stands out in my head as my dad said, “when you change your focus from self to others, you see the positive results of charitable giving”. This reminded me of the impact that philanthropy can have on not only the cause being donated to, but also the person donating. Through this program I have been able to see both sides of that impact as we work towards the educated donating of our time and money.

Week 4

Through this process we have learned various ways to invest responsibly. We have looked at companies from quantitative and qualitative perspectives to determine the best organizations. Both view points are needed to evaluate the success of an organization. A quantitative look can show the numbers or money side of an organization. It shows the way in which an organization spends the money it receives or works to fundraise. A qualitative look factors in the impact on society of the company. It looks at the actions performed, treatment of volunteers, and other factors to determine the organizations impact. When using these different perspectives to evaluate our charities I have found that quantitative views have been easier to find and determine than qualitative factors. The quantitative factors are hard facts that can be found in places like the Form 990 of a non-profit. Qualitative factors, though more difficult to determine, are just as important to consider in choosing an organization. By factoring in both of these qualities of an organization one finds the most responsible way to invest.

Week 3

This week has been my favorite week so far as we have focused on the number’s side of giving. We have looked at tax returns and compared different numbers to see what each charity does with the money it receives. By looking at these numbers we are able to see if a charity is running efficiently, spending money in a purposeful way, and working at their mission statement.
This week I took a closer look into my chosen charity, the Christian Service Center. Upon locating their Form 990 and crunching some numbers I was beyond pleasantly surprised. I learned astounding facts like that the Christian Service Center uses almost ninety three percent of the money received to directly fund the program and only one tenth of a percent of the money is allocated to management funds! By taking a closer look into what our charities do with the money we were able to determine how efficient they are and give responsibly.

Who’s Got Team Spirit?

In the second week of this program my peers and I were separated into our groups, or teams, that we will embark on this journey with. Once our teams were established we did a group bonding activity in which we learned more about our fellow teammates. Each member of our team, the Hearts of Hope, brought in three items that represent us. From this activity I learned that my team and I not only share similar interests in philanthropy, but also in our everyday lives. We all hold our faith, sports, and family as important to us. These similarities helped when we moved on to create our Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statement. By setting each of these we were guided into defining a clear purpose and goal for our actions. The Hearts of Hope’s aim is to serve our community by portraying His compassion. We hope to complete this by learning the smart way in choosing a charity to donate to which brings up this week’s work. Throughout the upcoming week we will begin to contact charities themselves. When reaching out to these charities I hope to be welcomed with as much enthusiasm and excitement as when we told others about MSP. I hope that the charities will be excited for our help and involvement in their funds, as well as willing to work with us, to show us exactly what their programs are about!

For It Is In Giving That We Receive

This week has marked the start of a new project for me and my peers. We have begun to learn what it truly feels like to give, along with the most responsible way of doing so. Through this project I hope to gain a better understanding of the way in which charities function, as well as a taste of what effect I can have on my community. I believe that this program will also give me a better understanding of the value of a dollar and teach me the importance of supporting our community.

The first week of this adventure has begun with us searching to determine where our passions lie. By using the Make A Difference cards I was able to uncover what I truly care for. It was interesting to see my areas of interest in comparison to those of my peers. It was also intriguing to see how varied our interests could be even between the closest of friends. I look forward to the upcoming weeks of this journey and what it will bring to my peers, the community, and I.