ORWELL — “Philanthropy: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” How is Grand Valley empowering its students to give back to their community? By forming their own philanthropy group.
Grand Valley partners with the Ashtabula Foundation, who donates a sum of money to the philanthropy board so that they do not have to raise the money on their own. The application is a long one which takes all year. Non-profit organizations, 501(c)(3) organizations that are tax exempt under the premise of charity, religion, education, science, literature, public safety testing, amateur sports, and preventing animal/child cruelty, seek out the board and apply for a portion of the money offered.
Organizations prove their need on their applications, whereupon the board members evaluate the request using a numeric rubric. To better specify exactly what the organizations need, the board meets individually with the representatives from each organization. When all the meetings have been completed, the board considers each request and deliberates their choices. They make their conclusions and present their findings to the Ashtabula Foundation.
The Ashtabula Foundation then further considers the requests, and money is then distributed accordingly to the approved groups. This money is definitely not used freely – the organizations are required to submit documentation proving exactly how every donated cent is used.
The philanthropy board of Grand Valley accepts new members into its elite group through instructor recommendation, demonstrated and persistent academic excellence and a proven desire to help and aid the community in which they reside. The chosen students must be willing to donate their time and efforts to make their selections of which organizations will receive the aid.
“I like being a part of this because it helps out the community and gives local non-profit organizations more money than what's given to them by the state,” said senior Chandler Verhas, who joined the philanthropy group last year. “It's great to work together with this group of students and make decisions that will improve the community.”