Article and photography by Marilyn Sherman


For the third year, students in SESP’s Learning Philanthropy course had the opportunity to donate funds to nonprofit organizations that benefit children and adults. After studying the history and practice of philanthropic giving and researching local charities, the class made donations totaling $100,000.


Student task forces investigated six key areas of philanthropy: education, environment and sustainability, arts and culture, child/youth development, human services and civil rights, and eradicating poverty. During their decision making process, students confronted many of the policies, politics and practices that influence giving decisions.


At a June 10 reception with representatives from the selected nonprofits, the six student groups announced the following recipients:

  • Arts and Culture: Project Onward, $15,000
  • Child and Youth Development: Girls in the Game, $15,000
  • Education: Citizen Schools, $18,000
  • Eradicating Poverty: La Casa Norte, $20,000
  • Environment and Sustainability: Foresight Design, $12,000
  • Human Services/Civil Rights: Dreamcatcher Foundation, $20,000


The groups started with proposals for 56 organizations, made site visits to 23 organizations and finally selected six for donations of varying amounts. Their decisions were based on analysis of the nonprofits through criteria each group established.

Read the full article on the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy's website. >>



Citizen Schools received $18,000 through SESP's Learning Philanthropy course.