Funded by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the Students4Giving℠ initiative provides an opportunity for students to make grants to nonprofits through the use of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Colleges are selected to participate through a national competition. Each school is awarded a DAF containing $15,000 to oversee and name. DAFs are held by the Gift Fund but managed by students and faculty.
Students have the ability to designate investment pools for the money and make recommendations for grant awards. Only Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 public charities are eligible to receive funding. The Gift Fund provides general account maintenance services and services related to verification of tax exemption for recommended nonprofits free of charge.
Students determine the philanthropic mission for DAFs, conduct community needs assessments, design and issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and make award determinations. Each class is asked to distribute between 50-75% of the fund, with a focus on retaining some funds for additional cycles and on replenishing accounts. The intention of the program is to provide colleges with a vehicle for charitable giving that can be used as an educational tool for the long term. To acknowledge the additional resources necessary to successfully incorporate a giving component into a course and administer a grant competition, the Gift Fund also provides colleges with a $3,000 administrative stipend.
Participating colleges have a team of people involved in the project including campus communications directors, development directors, faculty, and students. Each college is also required to provide a letter of support from the president. Colleges participate in common evaluation efforts and efforts to collect and disseminate best practices.