Monday/Wednesday: 2:30pm – 4:20pm
Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
This course explores how charitable giving can significantly help people in need. Students decide how to allocate funds to local nonprofit organizations working to expand access to opportunity for low-income communities. They assess specific organizations’ merits for funding by evaluating grant proposals and doing site visits, where students get a firsthand glimpse of how these organizations are working to accomplish their goals. Students also do fundraising to expand their capacity to help people in need.
This course will familiarize you with the extensive roles nonprofit organizations play in addressing social problems in American society and the significance of charitable giving in fulfilling those roles.
There is one book to purchase, which you can buy from the university bookstore or at the link below:
All other readings are linked below on the syllabus.
*Please bring assigned readings to class. For those that are online, either print them or access them electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
As a way of facilitating rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of most classes. The dates when a reading response is due are listed on the schedule below.
Please post no later than 7am on the due date. I will not give full credit for late posts, and will give no credit for posts made after 12pm. Your write-up should have two parts:
- A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading, which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
— Something you found interesting and why.
— Something you found confusing and why.
— An important topic left unexplored.
— Strengths/weaknesses of a study’s methodology.
— How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
- Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.
I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.
*On the dates indicated below, you MUST take part in site visits to organizations under consideration for funding. These trips will extend beyond our regular class time.
Wednesday, April 11th
Wednesday, April 18th
Monday, April 23rd
Your final grade will be based on the following:
60% Reading responses
20% Oral presentations about potential grant applicants
10% Class attendance and participation
10% Grant ceremony attendance and participation
Given the Sociology Department’s commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards, students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.
Wednesday, January 17th
Monday, January 22nd
Wednesday, January 24th
*GUEST SPEAKER – Kyrah Altman – President, LEAD (Let’s Empower, Advocate, and Do)
*READ: LEAD Website
*READING RESPONSE #1 DUE – What do you find significant about the story of how LEAD was created? What do you find important about its work? Be specific. List two or more questions you’d like to ask Kyrah Altman.
Monday, January 29th
*READING RESPONSE #2 DUE – Critique
Wednesday, January 31st
*READ: Ira Silver, Chapters 1-3 in Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream. This is the book required for purchase.
*READING RESPONSE #3 DUE – Critique
Monday, February 5th
*READ: Ira Silver, Chapters 4 and 5 in Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream.
*READING RESPONSE #4 DUE – Critique
*DISCUSS IN CLASS: Research Presentations about Potential Grant Applicants
Wednesday, February 7th
*READ: Ira Silver, Chapters 6-7 in Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream. This is the book required for purchase.
*READING RESPONSE #5 DUE – Critique
Monday, February 12th
***Field trip to Bethany Hill Place, 89 Bethany Road, Framingham
*READ: Bethany Hill Place Website
*READING RESPONSE #6 DUE – What do you find significant about the work Bethany Hill Place does? Be specific. List two or more questions you’d like to ask during our site visit.
*EMAIL TO PROF. SILVER – List of 4 nonprofits you are interested in researching for your oral presentations.
Wednesday, February 14th
*READ: Sample grant applications from past years
– Bethany Hill Place
– School on Wheels
– Bridge over Troubled Waters
*READING RESPONSE #7 DUE – What did you find to be strong or not so strong in each grant application? Be specific. (3-4 sentences per proposal)
*We will begin to formulate our RFP (Request for Proposals).
Monday, February 19th
*NO CLASS – Presidents’ Day
Wednesday, February 21st
*Come prepared to give either of your presentations about potential grant applicants based on this list.
Monday, February 26th
*We will continue with the oral presentations.
Wednesday, February 28th
*We will finish the oral presentations, narrow our invitation list, and continue to formulate our RFP.
*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE – Come up with two questions you think should be on the RFP.
Monday, March 5th
*We will finalize our invitation list, finish the RFP, and discuss crucial next steps in our grantmaking process.
*BY 7AM – Send me an email with up to 25 choices of organizations to invite to apply for funds. Send me only the number of the organization, not the name too.
Tuesday, March 6th
*BY NOON – Send an email to the organization you’ve been assigned from the list of nonprofits we’re inviting to apply for funds (with cc to me). In the text box, paste the letter of invitation and attach the RFP. Grant applications are due by 5pm on Tuesday March 20th.
Wednesday, March 7th
*** SPRING BREAK ***
Monday, March 19th
– Amy Kingman and Shanna O’Berry – Learning by Giving Foundation
– Cheryl Opper – Founder and Executive Director, School on Wheels
*READ: School on Wheels Website
*READING RESPONSE #9 DUE
– What has been the cumulative impact of experiential philanthropy courses? List two or more questions you’d like to ask our guests from the Learning by Giving Foundation.
– What do you find important about School on Wheels’ work? Be specific. List two or more questions you’d like to ask Cheryl Opper.
Wednesday, March 21st
Grant evaluation, Part 1
*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE – Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following four organizations. Discuss in detail what you find strong or not so strong in their materials according to the criteria in our RFP.
Monday, March 26th
Grant evaluation, Part 2
*READING RESPONSE #11 DUE – Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following four organizations. Discuss in detail what you find strong or not so strong in their materials according to the criteria in our RFP.
Wednesday, March 28th
Grant evaluation, Part 3
*READING RESPONSE #12 DUE – Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following two organizations. Discuss in detail what you find strong or not so strong in their materials according to the criteria in our RFP.
Monday, April 2nd
Grant evaluation, Part 4
*READING RESPONSE #13 DUE – Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following five organizations. Discuss in detail what you find strong or not so strong in their materials according to the criteria in our RFP.
Wednesday, April 4th
*READING RESPONSE #14 DUE – Write 1-2 paragraphs for each of the following four organizations. Discuss in detail what you find strong or not so strong in their materials according to the criteria in our RFP.
Monday, April 9th
*By 10am, email me your ranking (with 1 being the highest) of the nonprofits still under consideration for funding.
*WATCH IN CLASS: “Nonprofit Site Visits”
*GUEST SPEAKERS: Students from former Nonprofit Giving classes
Wednesday, April 11th
Site visit 1
*READING RESPONSE #15 DUE – Come up with 3 or more questions for this site visit. Don’t just list your questions; contextualize them with specifics from the grant proposals.
Monday, April 16th
NO CLASS – Patriots’ Day
Wednesday, April 18th
Site visit 2
*READING RESPONSE #16 DUE – Come up with 3 or more questions for this site visit. Don’t just list your questions; contextualize them with specifics from the grant proposals.
Monday, April 23rd
Site visit 3
*READING RESPONSE #17 DUE – Come up with 3 or more questions for this site visit. Don’t just list your questions; contextualize them with specifics from the grant proposals.
Wednesday, April 25th
*GUEST SPEAKERS: Panel of FSU alums who have worked in nonprofits.
Monday, April 30th
Discuss site visits and MAKE GRANT DECISION!
*READING RESPONSE #18 DUE – Write 6 paragraphs (2 for each of the organizations we site visited). One paragraph should discuss the organization’s merits for funding based on the criteria in the RFP and other should discuss your reservations about funding the organization based on these same criteria.
Wednesday, May 2nd
Thursday, May 10th
11;30am – Grant ceremony: McCarthy Center Forum