The University of Giving is a charity that started this year to teach the power of charitable giving as well as philanthropy and leadership to high school students. We did a pilot run in Hudsonville schools during the 2016-2017 school year and are looking to expand to other local districts. The Ugive program starts with a $6,500 donation from a donor or donors. Then it is up to the students to decide where the money is distributed. Here is the process.
Students in the classroom are put into teams to choose a charity that they wish to represent. Throughout the process they learn how the charity impacts the community locally and nationally. During the students vetting process, they look into where the charity spends its funds. How much is spent locally vs nationally and how much goes to the cause vs administration. Then they do a five minute presentation to their class which is followed by a vote and the top six teams move on.
Each of the six groups that moved on gets ready for a second presentation. The presentations are ten minutes long and go more in depth on what the charity does. The groups also bring in someone to share how the charity has made an impact on their life. This gives everyone a true representation of the impact the charity has on individuals locally. Once each group presents, the whole class votes again and the top three groups move on.
The final three groups make a 15 minute presentation. For that presentation the charity and the kids must present together. Once the three presentations are given, the students vote one last time.
1st place gets $5,000 for the charity they were working with
2nd place gets $1,000 for the charity they are working with
3rd place gets $500 for the charity they are working with.
The University of Giving is a 501(c) charity and all donations are tax deductible. The money donated only goes to help fund the prize money to each of the top three charities the students pick. We are currently looking for donors in the area to support Ugive in the local schools. Donors are encouraged to come to all presentations and interact with the students. It is a great experience for everyone involved. If you would like to be a donor please contact The University of Giving at 616-261-2269.