Last fall it was so wonderful to have been given the opportunity to learn about one of our region’s truly great philanthropists – Roger Grein when I helped raise awareness of his contributions. Roger has given to local nonprofits with his resources and his heart. However, his greatest legacy is in the hearts of thousands of young people in whom he and his Magnified Giving team of staff and volunteers have instilled long lasting generosity.
Magnified Giving is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to educate, inspire, and engage students in philanthropy. Its vision of Magnified Giving is for every high school student in America, starting with the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, to someday have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to be generous and wise philanthropists.
Each year, participating school groups are challenged to determine how they want to invest up to $2000 in a nonprofit. They research, evaluate nonprofit grant applications, fundraise to earn matching dollars – gaining leadership, communication, and teamwork skills as part of the process. This spring in a packed auditorium of over 600 students, teachers, nonprofits, donors, parents, and community leaders, nearly $50,000 was presented to causes doing great work.
“The most rewarding aspect of Magnified Giving is when what we do in the classroom reaches beyond the walls of the school in a tangible way. I see students ‘get it’ when they come back from a site visit,” said Julie Vehorn, director of curriculum and instruction at Roger Bacon High School overseeing her school’s Magnified Giving program.
Aiken College & Career
Cincinnati Country Day
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
Miami Valley Christian Academy
Mother of Mercy
Mt. Notre Dame
Notre Dame Academy
Perry High School
School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Summit Country Day
Madeira Middle School
Northern KY Youth Advisory Board
The Kennedy Heights Arts Center is one of 14 semi-finalists in the ArtsFwd Business Unusual Challenge. They are the ONLY Cincinnati organization from a national pool of applicants – and if they win, it could earn them a $35,000 innovation grant.
How can you help? Vote for them once a day through May 31, 2013 at this link.
About the Kennedy Heights Arts Center
Kennedy Heights Arts Center strives to be the anchor of an increasingly vibrant, diverse, inclusive and creative community. It serves more than 3,500 people annually with its rotating art exhibitions, arts education programs for youth and adults, outreach programs in public schools and libraries, and community events from art festivals to poetry readings to concerts on the lawn. The majority of its programming is free and its “pay what you can” policy for art classes ensures that everyone can participate. Its inclusive, welcoming environment attracts many folks who might not venture downtown or to traditional arts institutions. As a community-based art center, KHAC has a special focus on Kennedy Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Why is the funding important?
“In the past, we have assumed that we could provide free programming for all and support our total operating expenses through grants and contributions. Kennedy Heights Arts Center was very fortunate to receive substantial support from one individual donor in the early years of the organization, but that donor recently passed away. Our relationship with this “angel” has been both a blessing and a curse – it enabled us to grow quickly and develop a full range of programs, but caused a certain amount of reliance on one source of income which is not sustainable for the long-term.” ~ from the description on Arts Fwd
Learning about philanthropy is such a powerful lesson for college students, and, when taught young, tends to permeate their adult lives. At Northern Kentucky University, that lesson has amounted to $18,550 invested by college students in 12 Greater Cincinnati area nonprofit organizations during the spring 2013 semester. It is all part of the nationally recognized Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project.
Student philanthropy classes at NKU combine grant-making with classroom learning, so that students become more engaged in their reading and research. Nearly 90 percent of the students who take a student philanthropy class at NKU report increased understanding of the ideas being taught in the course. They also reported heightened awareness of community needs and how nonprofit organizations are meeting those needs.
“Mayerson classes are some of the most effective classes we offer at NKU,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Gail Wells.
This was the 13th year for student philanthropy courses at NKU. In that time, students have had a hand in the distribution of $757,000 to 300 nonprofit organizations, the majority of that in the form of direct grants of $1,000 to $2,000. The funding generally comes from community donors. The Manuel D. & Rhoda Mayerson Foundation of Cincinnati, Citi of Florence and the Scripps Howard Foundation of Cincinnati were the key supports for the spring semester.
In addition, students raised some of the money to support the classes with letter-writing campaigns, T-shirt sales and other fundraising efforts. Students raised over $2,500 of the $18,550 being distributed. Some classes also collected needed items for nonprofits and signed up after class to volunteer for the organizations.
“One of the great aspects of this program is the community support,” said Mark Neikirk, executive director of the NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, which oversees the program. “Donors to the ‘giving pool’ have made it possible for NKU to offer these classes year in and year out.
“But in recent years, students have stepped up, too, raising some of the funds directly,” he said. “What we’re trying to teach is the class material. What we’re trying to instill is community stewardship – what the late Manuel Mayerson, who helped conceive of this program, called ‘the habit of giving.’ And research shows that this works. NKU students who took a Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project class are more likely, after graduation, to give money to nonprofits, to serve on nonprofit boards and to volunteer their time.”
NKU is a national leader in developing student philanthropy pedagogy. A faculty handbook, published in 2010 by NKU, has been distributed nationally to universities in nearly every state. NKU faculties have published research on the topic and frequently discuss this pedagogy at academic conferences.
This year’s recipient organizations were: the Dragonfly Foundation ($1,275); the Children’s Law Center ($1,275); Teen Challenge Cincinnati ($1,000); DCCH Center for Families and Children ($1,000); Reset Ministries ($1,000); Hosea House ($4,000); Buseesa Community Development Centre in Uganda and the Sisters of Notre Dame in Park Hills ($2,000); Santa Maria Community Services International Welcome Center ($1,000); Stop AIDS ($1,000); Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati ($2,000); Brighton Recovery Center for Women ($1,000); and Historic New Richmond Inc. ($2,000).
Classes participating this year included Strategies of Persuasion, College Writing, Grant Proposal Writing, Leadership Around the World, Studies in Spanish Language Cinema, Community Social Work, Social Work Practice, and Exhibits and Museums and Historic Sites.
A full list of nonprofits that have received funding from 2000 through Spring 2012 is available at http://civicengagement.nku.edu/involved/mayerson.php, along with the classes involved.
Donations to the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project can be made online at http://development.nku.edu/give.html (specify Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project) or by contacting Dan Emsicke in the NKU Office of University Development at (859) 572-5628 or email@example.com.
If you ever want a creative idea for solving world problems…just ask a child.
Myles, a 7 year old, second grader at Downtown Montessori Academy in Milwaukee, wrote a letter to Vice President Joe Biden with a suggestion for making our country safer. “If guns shot chocolate bullets, no would get hurt,” it said. (Teacher Jenny Aicher told AP)
Below is a photo of the letter Myles received from our Vice President.
I want to extend a warm congratulations to Leo Calderon, director for Latino Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University, and his entire staff. On Friday, they are being honored by Santa Maria Community Services for all they do to strengthen the lives of Hispanics/Latinos in our Greater Cincinnati area.
It is a well deserved honor. I have seen the commitment of Leo and his staff first hand through my public relations work with the YMCA Black & Latino Achievers Program. Leo’s extensive civic involvement has included board memberships at the Kentucky Board of Education, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, Behringer-Crawford Museum, Women’s Crisis Center, BRIDGES for a Just Community, and English Language Learners Foundation.
Santa Maria’s Bienestar Recognition Luncheon will be Friday, May 10 from 11:30 am until 2 pm at The Millennium Hotel downtown Cincinnati. Registration closes on Tuesday morning (May 7) at 10 am at this link.
The event benefits Santa Maria’s Bienestar program, that makes vitally important health care services more accessible for Hispanic immigrants in our area.
Bienestar’s signature component is its Promotores de Salud. Promotores are members of the Hispanic community who complete a series of trainings on various diseases and their prevention (hypertension, diabetes, domestic violence, alcoholism, cancer, HIV, hygiene and government assistance programs) and then share the received information with family members and friends as well as members in their community and make school and company presentations.
Within the last few years Santa Maria Community Services recruited and trained over 60 Promotores de Salud.
Thank you to them for such very important work!