Allow Good Northwestern

Allow Good Northwestern, a new student-run education program led by four Northwestern students, won a grant of $10,000 to continue its work on youth philanthropy. The program began as a capstone project for the Civic Engagement Certificate Program at the School of Education and Social Policy.

Recently the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University awarded its top Generous U grant to Allow Good Northwestern, composed of SESP students Fannie Koltun, Matt Herndon and Imani Wilson and Communication student Rachel Sepulveda. The Northwestern group, a partnership with the Evanston nonprofit Allowance for Good, applied for the grant in collaboration with a similar program at the University of Chicago.

Allow Good goals
“Our mission is to educate high school students in the Evanston area on issues concerning philanthropy, social justice and community development in order to ultimately empower these youth to be change makers in their communities,” says Koltun, a sophomore studying human development and psychological services. With the support of Northwestern undergraduates, high school students work towards carefully researching how they will gift a local nonprofit with a $1,000 grant.

The Northwestern group, as a chapter of Evanston’s Allowance for Good nonprofit, plans to provide weekly courses to high school students that emphasize methods for responsible giving. “We feel this experiential learning component encourages students to thoroughly conduct nonprofit research and engage more in philanthropy lessons,” says Koltun.

Allow Good Northwestern blossomed from a capstone project in the SESP Civic Engagement Certificate Program into a campus organization that fosters lasting connections between Northwestern and local high schools. Now the volunteer-based group is seeking interested Northwestern undergraduate students for both executive board member and teacher positions.

Students in Allow Good Northwestern want to disprove the assumptions that today’s youth are self-absorbed and that philanthropy is only for rich people. “Allowance For Good strongly believes that everyone can be a philanthropist,” says Koltun. “Philanthropic giving thus becomes a way for youth to become engaged with their communities by learning about local social issues, local nonprofits and ways of evaluating organizations.

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