Philanthropy Incubator project empowers student philanthropists

Philanthropy Incubator project empowers student philanthropists

Binghamton University students have announced the recipients of more than $24,000 in grant awards for 2024. The University’s Philanthropy Incubator program, which involves undergraduate and graduate students from two different courses, has awarded more than $250,000 to Broome County nonprofit organizations since its inception in 2009.

The program solicits submissions from local non-profits at the start of the semester. Throughout the semester-long process, students review, vet and pitch the submissions until a group of finalists is determined.

This year, four major grants, ranging between $3,000 and $6,800, were awarded to local non-profit organizations; in addition, the nine finalists for the grants (two organizations were finalists in both classes) received $500 each.

The organizations receiving grants include:

• The Greater Good Grocery Store, a local non-profit grocery store providing fresh, healthy food to residents on the north side of Binghamton, which received a $6,800 grant to fund a mobile market bus

• The American Civic Association, which received $6,000 to assist with its refugee resettlement program, helping to meet the basic needs — furniture, clothing, rent —of refugees in the Binghamton area

• The Maine-Endwell School District M-EALS and Leadership Program, which will use its $5,500 grant to supplement the nutritional needs of families on weekends and holidays when children aren’t receiving school meals

• The Binghamton Move Out Project, founded in 2018 by Christina Fuller ’19, MPA ’21, which received a $3,000 award. This annual end-of-academic-year project helps divert usable items from landfills and redistribute them to families in need.

Other organizations receiving support as finalists include:

Friends of the Broome County Library, $1,000

North of Main (NoMa) Community Center, $500

Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, $500

Crime Victims Assistance Center, $500

Southern Tier AIDS Program, $500

Graduate students in Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy Lauren Dula’s Issues in Nonprofit Administration class raised the $6,800 grant for Greater Good Grocery through their annual fundraising event, “Party with a Purpose.” This year’s event was the most successful fundraiser to date.

David Campbell, professor of public administration and policy and instructor for the undergraduate course Philanthropy and Civil Society, said the students selected organizations that are working on some of the most important issues we confront today: food insecurity, sustainability and immigration.

Students were able to award grants thanks to contributions the class received from the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation and the Learning by Giving Foundation. Grace Holman and Clay Jeon, both members of Campbell’s class, said that the process of reviewing and selecting non-profits to receive grants opened their eyes to the world of philanthropy.

“My biggest takeaway from the class is that everyone can be a philanthropist,” said Holman, a biology major and rising sophomore. “I learned there was no narrow view of what a philanthropist is. They are just everyday people committed to giving to a cause that aligns with their values.”

Jeon—winner of the University’s Al Jos Excellence in Community Engagement award—echoed Holman: “Through this class, I learned that giving is not limited to seven-figure donations but is also a commitment of time, volunteering and energy. It’s inspired me to be a lifelong philanthropist.”

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