Not too many years ago, we were part of the first cohort of UC Berkeley undergraduates piloting an experiential curriculum designed to teach and train students on how to become effective philanthropists, principally by “doing”.
This unique field-based approach, championed by the “Learning by Giving” program (LxG), taught us about the in’s and out’s of strategic grantmaking from a first principles perspective and culminated with a grant the class awarded to a local, well deserving nonprofit (mind you, this came after numerous hours of in-class framing, social evaluation, operational diligence, modeling, memorandum composing, deliberation, etc.).
Learning by Giving (LxG) helps to launch young, social-change-makers on their paths to exploring injustice and provides a framework to understanding how philanthropy and the nonprofit sector can support more equitable communities. In short, there has never been a more important time for Learning by Giving than this moment.
A few weeks ago, the Learning by Giving team shared our public statement against racism and injustice. We committed to using our platform to amplify the voices of our students of color who are driving social change by addressing racial justice and inequality. Today, we share the first in a series of blog posts written by one of our LxG student alumni. Steven Swann recently completed our Philanthropy, Power & Impact course at Georgetown University and also serves as the Racial Equity Manager at Bread for the City in Washington, DC.
We want to start by saying to the Black members of the Learning by Giving community: Your lives matter. We support you. We see you. We stand with you.
Here at Learning by Giving, we have been following the tragic news of the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We are deeply saddened by their deaths and angered by the institutional and systemic racism that continues to permeate our country. Learning by Giving stands in solidarity with the Black community and allies across the United States and the world in calling for justice and changes to the systems that continue to brutalize Black people.
As a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, it's more important than ever to come together and lift each other up.
Through the #LearnGiveChallenge, we hope to highlight what people are learning while they practice safe social distancing at their homes, the innovative ways people are giving back to their community, and put a spotlight on nonprofits doing their part to help those affected by COVID-19.
Spread the word on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and encourage your community to take part of the #LearnGiveChallenge to inspire others to give back during this time.