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BHS Students Delve into the Practice of Philanthropy

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Photo by Floyd Wilde

(Photo by Floyd Wilde)

This May, a group of students from Burlington High School will be learning how to work effectively with local nonprofits. The three-week “Philanthro-me” course, led by Erika Lowe, Peter McConville, and Anna Rosenblum Palmer, is part of BHS’s Year-End Studies program, where students take time to explore a given topic or activity in-depth .

Philanthropy means “love of humanity” in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, and enhancing “what it means to be human” on both the givers’ and receivers’ parts. “Philanthro-me” will help the next generation of givers and doers understand and tap into this lifelong practice.

Through this course, students will be empowered to take community-based action in their city by working with nonprofits, organizations and benefactors in the Burlington community. They will use design thinking, human-centered design, site visits, community mapping, social media marketing, elevator pitches, and zen presentation skills in order to design philanthropy-related projects for local nonprofits.

After visiting and interviewing two nonprofits in our community—King Street Center and Spectrum Youth and Family Services—each student team will identify an area from growth within the development side of the organization, then plan and pitch a project to their partner nonprofit.

For two days, the students will be immersed in design thinking (a positive proactive approach to problem solving). Then community leaders will offer these students the lay of the land in local nonprofit organizations and foundations.

In keeping with the spirit of this class, the motivation of the students, and the efficacy of the organizations, students will not only plan these projects, but fund them as well.

If you would like to support their work, you can make a tax-deductible donation to help fund their project at the organization of your choice. Any gift is appreciated.

To donate to support the student project at King Street Center, click here and select “Burlington High School Philanthrome course” from the program designation drop box.

To donate to support the student project at Spectrum, click here to go to the Philanthro-me page.

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