Ohio Campus Compact’s Pay it Forward (PIF) initiative is developing a new generation of philanthropists through an innovative course-based service-learning program that engages Ohio college students in hands-on philanthropy, grant-making, and volunteer service while providing community nonprofits with much needed assistance during difficult economic times. Each PIF course receives real dollars to award nonprofit agencies. Students typically provide volunteer service to local non-profit agencies while simultaneously identifying community needs, establishing funding criteria, and engaging in group decision-making as part of the course.
Pay It Forward addresses critical economic needs by embedding philanthropic themes in a variety of courses across the academic curriculum. The program has been implemented in a variety of disciplines including: psychology, sociology, education, criminal justice, business, marketing, communications, accounting, art, English, medicine, public relations, urban studies, nursing, social work, economics and more.
Examples of funded nonprofits include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking County, the Licking County Humane Society, Licking County Food Pantry and more. Since it’s inception Pay it Forward has granted more than $660,000 to more than 430 community organizations and engaged more than 4,200 students in over 62,000 volunteer hours.
In one Pay it Forward course at Central Ohio Technical College a group of students donated their time and money out of their pocket to build wooden picnic tables for the Newark YMCA so the kids at day camps would have a place to do their activities (they spend most of their time outside at the YMCA). This action, along with the students’ presentation in favor of funding the YMCA, resulted in the class voting to fund more picnic tables for the YMCA from the Pay it Forward grant.
Ohio Campus Compact will support more PIF courses in Licking County with generous funding from The John and Mary Alford Foundation and the TrueCore Federal Credit Union Foundation, as well as courses at the University of Cincinnati with funding from Elizabeth Ricci Family Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the University of Cincinnati.
To learn more about the Pay it Forward program or if you’d like us to help your campus locate funding to support courses please contact Brenna Limbrick.
Blog written by Brenna Limbrick
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