Thank you, UMD students!

"I was somehow under the impression that being a philanthropist would be easy." - Selena Q.

Last week we had the honor of attending a very special award ceremony to accept a grant from the University of Maryland's TERPhilanthropy Fund. Thanks for having us, UMD School of Public Policy!

Photo Credit: UMD School of Public Policy Flickr

Every semester, through UMD's Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, a course full of students are entrusted with $10,000 in grant money and the task of impactful, informed giving. The students must work together to pick a worthy cause to support and then undertake an arduous selection process to decide which local nonprofit(s) should receive the funds. This semester, students selected childhood cancer as their cause and developed a mission statement of their vision for the funds.

"While choosing our cause, a single classmate suggested childhood cancer. This person was able to convince the class that this should be our cause, beating out many which at first had more support. This demonstrated the power of an individual in a manner I had never before seen, and it has taught me to voice new, and potentially unpopular opinions." -Dylan M.

If one student's voice can change the minds of 52 peers, think about the level of influence that 10 or 100 more advocates could have! Building this network of passionate advocates is what CCCA aims to accomplish with the help of funding from TERPhilanthropy.

After reviewing proposals, conducting phone interviews, and participating in site visits, the students ultimately decided to split their funds between the Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy and the Hope for Henry Foundation.

We were honored to be chosen, and we loved learning more about this terrific course and meeting all the passionate students involved. We were struck by the students' smart questions, their ownership of this project, and their enthusiasm for making a difference. By accepting this award, we made a promise to each of those students that we will honor their faith in us and their belief in the work we do to help kids with cancer live longer, healthier lives.

"Someone once said that in giving light to others, in helping others, providing for others, we in turn light our own way. I can’t help but think of our class when I hear this idea." Haley W.