Philanthropy and the Public Good

January 22, 2020
Philanthropy and the Public Good Class
Philanthropy and the Public Good : Education Solid Gold Neighbor
Nancy McEachern, Business Development Director and Producer for Insurors of Texas
It's common to recognize the value of real-world experience, applying what you learned in school at a job. However, when it comes to philanthropy and leadership for non-profit organizations, it's more challenging to get the education you need prior to having the opportunity to apply it. I have seen firsthand how this is not only a detriment to the organizations and recipients of their services, but a liability to public servants in leadership as well.

Baylor University has developed a class that most ideally addresses this critical need through it's "Philanthropy and the Public Good" course. Students in this class not only receive critical training so that they can lead effectively, the added bonus is that through their grant-awarding process local non-profits have the opportunity to engage with some of Baylor's most talented students. This bridges the gap between the University and community while providing significant resources to fund key local initiatives, each supporting at least one of the Solid Gold Neighbor pillars.

The results of the work of the students in the Fall 2019 class exceeded my expectations, as their presentations exhibited genuine collaboration as they gathered and presented data and tactical insight. The students represented a wide variety of majors, backgrounds and interests, but came together understanding they each held responsible for their knowledge gained and outcome. A finance major wasn't immune to understanding policies and initiatives, nor could a political science major ignore the finances.

Initially, these students identified local non-profit organizations to interview as candidates for grants. The list they created as they stepped outside of the Baylor campus clearly exemplified the strength Waco holds in the number of qualified grant recipients and work being done to elevate our community. Through the presentation of their findings, both our non-profit recipients and Ambassador Council were gifted the opportunity to see the best that Baylor has to offer. Their feedback on the organizations and their requests were golden, displaying strong verbal and communication skills necessary to communicate the message, while including content that stayed true to the task of proper evaluation.

The net result of this class is so much more than giant checks totaling $75,000 for the semester. It's the preparedness of these students to serve after graduation, multiplying their impact exponentially; the value of a link between a community and its University; and the message championed by the Ambassador Council sharing how Baylor University is providing for our future by funding initiatives that are inclusive of all five pillars of the Solid Gold Neighbor Initiative: Economic Development, Education, Health, Cultural Wealth and City Growth.

Are you interested in supporting Waco nonprofit organizations through the Baylor Philanthropy and Public Good Course? Make a gift today.
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