By Rebecca Flannery
For the second semester in a row, Baylor’s Philanthropy and the Public Good class distributed thousands of dollars in grant money to nonprofits. At 1 p.m. Monday, $75,000 from anonymous donors will be disbursed to the 14 grant-receiving organizations at an award reception at the Baylor Club.
Although only in its second semester, significant changes were made to improve the course. Dr. Andy Hogue, lecturer in political science and director of Civic Education and Community Service Program, teaches the philanthropy course.
Hogue said this semester positions available in the class were reduced from 30 to 21 students and created an additional one-hour course for eight students who took the class in the fall.
“We had some funding set aside for a group of last semester’s students doing advanced study with me this spring in a course called Philanthropy Senior Fellows,” Hogue said. “The role of those eight students was to serve as mentors for those taking the class the first time around.”
Prairie Village, Kan., junior Jack Steadman took the class in the fall semester and was selected to be one of the students to take Philanthropy Senior Fellows for the spring. He said his role was more hands-on than it was before.
“I served as a senior philanthropy fellow. I would meet with the groups in the larger, 21-person class to act as their adviser,” Steadman said. “We also got to allocate a budget of our own to five different organizations.”
Steadman said the smaller class was also able to research, deliberate and ultimately give $5,000 in grant money in conjunction with Aramark Corp. to Compassion Ministries.
Other nonprofits benefitting from the $75,000 are Talitha Koum, Avance, Creative Waco, Caritas of Waco and Unbound, an international organization that works to educate and provide human-trafficking presentations to groups and organizations within local communities.
“Like anything, we made improvements by doing it a second time,” Hogue said. “We reorganized our sub-sectors and also created a clearer evaluation process of our students as they tried to distinguish between many deserving nonprofit organizations.”
In the bigger class, the 21 students were divided into five groups that evaluated six different subsectors. Hogue said the class grouped nonprofits together based on how they served their communities. Examples of the subsectors included health and wellness, and homelessness outreach.
“One of the biggest changes that influenced the way the class ended up was that the curriculum focus was narrowed,” Steadman said. “By having a smaller budget for a smaller group, it was less difficult to figure out where all the money should end up.”
The class was changed from a three-hour course to a four-hour course to include a lab hour. Steadman said the lab hour was an improvement to the way the class flowed as it allowed the group to have a time set for board meetings.
Liberty Township, Ohio, junior Drew Hamilton was one of the 21 students taking the class for the first time. He said the class gave him a new perspective about Waco.
“It’s amazing to see how many people want to help and see Waco and the world change,” Hamilton said.