Why I’m Attending Philanthropy on the Field

November 15, 2018

As part of our 15-year anniversary, Learning by Giving is hosting Boston’s first large-scale, one-day philanthropy event, Philanthropy on the Field. We will welcome more than 200 of Boston’s young professionals and over 20 nonprofits to Fenway Park. Participants will have an introduction to LxG coursework and philosophy, hear from some of the city’s premier civic, philanthropic, and community leaders, and direct over $100,000 to high-impact, local nonprofits. One participant, Sarah Knight, explains what Philanthropy on the Field means to her. 

“I want to help people but I don’t know how.”

That’s how I entered my post-college job search. Really motivated and passionate about social change but a little lost for where to start. Sound familiar?

I decided to try my luck at learning first-hand about the inner workings of nonprofits by getting a job in (nonprofit) development or fundraising. I took classes. I volunteered. I made donations to organizations I cared about (what I considered to be small but significant for me). I spent a lot of time going in different directions trying to find a way I could use my skills, energy, and passion to make change.

Then I hit the jackpot: I found out about the Learning by Giving Foundation (LxG) supporting college students to participate in experiential philanthropy by giving them real grant dollars to distribute to their community. Through the grant-making process, students learn about how nonprofits run and how to assess their effectiveness. My first reaction was that I missed out on this great undergraduate experience. My second reaction was relief and excitement that LxG offers the classroom experience to young professionals through their Emerging Leaders group. What was even more interesting is that the group is filled with people from different backgrounds and careers. Everyone involved is interested in learning skills to become effective volunteers, board members, donors, and nonprofit workers.

You have the chance to learn in ONE DAY what it took me years (and quite a bit of student loan debt) to figure out. Philanthropy on the Field is offering you a chance to learn directly from a leading LxG professor, hear from local leaders in the philanthropic and public-service scenes, learn about 20 local non-profits making an impact in our city AND best of all? Being able to direct $100 of your own money and $100,000 of pooled resources to the nonprofits on the spot that day. Cherry on top? You’ll get to end the day connecting with other folks interested in making change in our city–from all professional backgrounds.

I’m excited for Philanthropy on the Field and hope you’ll join me.

Philanthropy on the Field