Pay it Forward, a joint initiative of Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan Campus Compacts, is a $1.4 million effort to strengthen local communities through student-led philanthropy. Funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the work will address critical economic needs in communities through student-led grant making and volunteerism.
Pay it Forward is based on a successful academic student philanthropy project piloted by Ohio Campus Compact and Kentucky Campus Compact. The project will target efforts in three needs areas: neighborhood development and revitalization; hunger, homelessness and health issues; and children and youth programs.
- Award charitable dollars to worthy organizations with strong proposals that address immediate economic needs in partnership with nonprofit agencies.
- Build stronger communities through a skill-based volunteer force that enhances contributions through hours served and financial resources.
- Provide students with the intellectual knowledge and practical experiences needed to manage philanthropic funding, including conducting needs assessments, establishing funding criteria, researching local nonprofits, interviewing community members, and developing writing, decision-making, accounting, and evaluation skills.
- Engage students and faculty with different communities in order to promote understanding and connectedness.
- Serve as a model for philanthropic organizations interested in passing along the practice and knowledge of philanthropy and volunteerism to younger generations.
The Pay it Forward project will allow 400 nonprofit organizations to receive desperately needed financial and volunteer support while teaching 3,000 students the arts of philanthropy and volunteerism. Through this course-based philanthropy component, 162 courses will allow students to provide 15 hours of service to community agencies for a total of 45,000 hours over the course of the project, gain knowledge of the local nonprofit sector, participate in the grant-making process, and provide over $700,000 dollars to projects that are meeting economic needs within the local community.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and Learn and Serve America
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that each year engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. The mission of CNCS is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. CNCS’s Learn and Serve America program awards grants to state agencies, schools, nonprofit groups, and institutions of higher education to engage students in service activities linked to academic achievement and civic responsibility.