Through the Students4Giving℠ initiative, Campus Compact and the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund™ educated and inspired a new generation of philanthropists in a new era of giving. Colleges participating in Students4Giving were chosen to receive a $15,000 Giving Account® (the Gift Fund’s donor advised fund) through a national competition. Students participating in courses in nonprofit management, business, social work, and a wide variety of disciplines oversee the accounts and make grant recommendations for supporting local nonprofit agencies.
The Students4Giving™ program provides a framework for philanthropic education emphasizing community-based knowledge with both grantmaking and fundraising dimensions. Students manage the philanthropic process, including creating a charitable mission statement, researching community issues, assessing the ability of nonprofits to address those issues, and learning to manage charitable funds to achieve philanthropic goals.
The focus of the program is on sustainability, both financial and structural. Students learn to use a variety of tools and strategies to create sustainable funding for community agencies. In addition, the program aims to create and support campus infrastructure for education focused on the nonprofit sector and the resources that sustain it. The initiative was designed for lasting impact on students, their institutions, and their communities.
Students4Giving sites: 2007 – 2010
- Boston University
- California State University, Fresno
- Lesley University
- Northeastern University
- Northwest Missouri State University
- Portland Community College
- Providence College
- Southwestern College
- SUNY Binghamton University
- Western Michigan University
- Wheelock College
- Whitworth University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Developing resources for the field
To deepen knowledge and share best practices related to philanthropic education, the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund™ also generously sponsored research on teaching philanthropy, faculty and student presentations at regional and national conferences, and the creation of online resources for the benefit of colleges and universities throughout the country.
About the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund (the “Gift Fund”) is an independent public charity with a donor-advised fund program. An individual donor-advised fund at the Gift Fund is referred to as a “Giving Account®.” Generally, donor-advised funds are established by individuals as part of their overall financial plan which incorporates a lifetime commitment to philanthropy and a desire to create a legacy. After making an initial contribution to the Gift Fund and establishing a Giving Account, individuals recommend grants to IRS-qualified public charities of their choice over time. Grant making through a Giving Account provides flexibility in charitable donations and grant making, tax benefits, and the potential to increase giving as a result of the Gift Fund’s investment pool program. Managing a Giving Account will provide students with ongoing opportunities to examine challenges facing communities and to make informed grant-making decisions about nonprofits working to address those issues. As one of the nation’s largest public charities, the Gift Fund has granted more than $7 billion to more than 111,000 nonprofit organizations since its inception in 1991. (As of June 30, 2007)
About Donor Advised Funds
A donor advised fund program allows individuals, private foundations, and business entities to make irrevocable contributions to the public charity sponsoring the program which are then allocated to a specific account, the individual “donor advised fund,” from which donor advisors or account holders may then recommend grants to qualified grant recipients on their own timetable.1
When donors make contributions, they may in turn be eligible to take tax deductions. They also receive and obtain certain privileges, including that of recommending grants from the donor advised fund to IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities and certain private operating foundations.2
Contributions to a charity with a donor advised fund program are often invested by the Trustees of the charity in investments provided by the program at the recommendation of the donors, which can help allow donors to potentially give more support to the causes they care about. The charity will generally perform due diligence to verify that each nonprofit organization to which a grant is recommended is an IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charity or qualified private operating foundation, and will further verify that that the grant is compliant with the policies of the charity and its donor advised fund program.
1Subject to minimum activity requirements.
2 Grants can only be made to IRS-qualified public charities. These are organizations that are formed under the laws of the United States and its territories, which are public charities as described in Section 509(a)(1), (a)(2) or (a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), or are private operating foundations as described in Section 4942(j)(3) of the Code and applicable regulations and IRS authority.
“I wanted to join the class to understand the inner workings of nonprofits, like business and grant writing. So far I’ve learned a great deal about both, especially how difficult it can be! I also have come to understand the role foundations play in bringing together resources and areas of need. The class allows us to discover the other side of service that, for me, was overshadowed by direct service through volunteerism.” Caroline Cox, student, UNC-Chapel Hill, Students4Giving participant