Dec. 1, 2021
WACO, Texas (Dec. 1, 2021) – Baylor University students joined Waco community leaders in celebration of $79,500 in total grants presented to seven local nonprofits through the University’s “Philanthropy and the Public Good” course and its ongoing partnership with the Fort Worth-based Philanthropy Lab.
On Nov. 30, students gathered in the Cashion Academic Center, along with President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., to deliver the good news in person to representatives from each nonprofit. The class of nine students spent the semester evaluating nearly 30 nonprofit organizations, ultimately landing on the seven to fund:
- Christian Women’s Job Corps: $20,000
- Creative Waco: $6,000
- Greater Waco Legal Services: $20,000
- East Waco Innovative School: $6,500
- The Cove: $11,000
- The Size of a Man: $9,500
- World Hunger Relief Farm: $6,500
Real funds for real needs
Since fall 2014, a full-credit class of Baylor students has stewarded and given away nearly $900,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations. Through this transformational undergraduate experience, students provide real funds for real needs in communities while cultivating a philanthropic spirit and developing as innovative leaders poised for a lifetime of generosity. The fall 2021 class was taught by Cuevas Peacock, assistant director of community relations-cultural wealth in Baylor’s Office of External Affairs, and community leader Hector Sabido, B.A. ’02.
“The impact of the Philanthropy and the Public Good course on the Waco community is once again evident in the granting of $79,500 to local nonprofits,” Peacock said. “Throughout the course, students were impressed by the passionate leadership and powerful missions of numerous organizations that they had the privilege to work with over the past few months. Additionally, students were able to learn directly from various community leaders on ways to maximize their social impact as they prepared to invest into the Waco community. It is our hope that through this course students will continue to give back to their community in ways that are equitable, impactful and uphold their Christian values.”
This fall, funding for the course was provided by the Baylor/Waco Foundation led by the Solid Gold Neighbor Ambassador Council, composed of 25 local community members representing the five areas of focus of Baylor’s Solid Gold Neighbor community engagement initiative: economic development, health, education, cultural wealth and city growth. Additional funding was provided by Aramark and the Philanthropy Lab.
“The Philanthropy Lab course is a unique opportunity for community partners, through the Solid Gold Neighbor Ambassador Council, and students to come together and engage in community-based philanthropy for the betterment of Waco,” said Jeremy Vickers, Ph.D., associate vice president of External Affairs at Baylor. “Through funds from the Philanthropy Lab, Aramark Giving Council and Baylor/Waco Foundation, we are able to funds multiple nonprofits each year, continuing a legacy of success for nearly a decade.”
Students in the Philanthropy and Public Good course continue to impress local civic leaders in their ability to research, discern and invest in Waco’s nonprofit ecosystem, said Benji Gomez, past chair of the Solid Gold Neighbor Ambassador Council.
“In my opinion, this course gives students the opportunity to learn how to think holistically about an organization and, especially, the necessity nonprofits play toward helping a community become a thriving city,” Gomez said. “I believe this course reveals to each student the potential they have to produce positive change in their communities, and that realization gives them confidence to step out into the world and lead.”
Encouraging thoughtful giving
The primary goal of The Philanthropy Lab is to ignite students’ interest and participation in philanthropy, encouraging thoughtful giving by providing funds to university philanthropy courses, with the goal of becoming self-sustaining, and enabling students to evaluate nonprofit organizations and award grants.
“I thought that giving was a way to create social clout or to make yourself look good or to get write-offs on your income statement, but I think No. 1, that might have been based on a pretty narrow definition of philanthropy,” said Mary Quarnstrom, a senior Baylor Business Fellow and Spanish major and student in the Philanthropy and Public Good class. “The course has broadened my vision of philanthropy to include your time, talent and treasure, showing that there isn’t really just one definition of giving back.”
Started in 2011, The Philanthropy Lab and its donor partners have given nearly $12 million to build philanthropy education at 32 universities across the United States. More than 3,500 students have participated in philanthropy courses affiliated with The Philanthropy Lab. Baylor was the 14th institution to join the program, alongside such current partners as Harvard, Northwestern University, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin.
Other universities that are part of The Philanthropy Lab are Abilene Christian University, Columbia, Emory, Texas A&M, TCU, Tulane, UC-Irvine, Notre Dame, Washington, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Washington University in St. Louis.
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