Cal Strategic Philanthropy is a course offered by CNPL to allows students to have the opportunity to give away a $10,000 grant to a nonprofit organization that they decide upon as a class. This semester, our class decided to split the grant into two $5,000 grants. Our final presentations are this Thursday, after which we will deliberate which two organizations of the four we are representing will receive the grants.
The number one lesson I have learned from this class is that it is so easy to fall in love with every single nonprofit organization you come across just by looking at their values and mission. A great deal of assessment is required to make a strategic and worthwhile philanthropic donation. My team is representing Not In Our Town, an organization that addresses hate crime in the US.
Our site visit to NIOT’s office in Oakland was a great learning experience to pool together everything we had learned from the course to make an accurate assessment of their work, impact, financial health, future goals, and leadership. The hardest task is to properly balance the appeal to both the head and the heart of your audience as you seek funding.
If you are interested in making a real impact with real money, take a look at the course webpage.