Schools in Philanthropy Program returns in 2022

Sacred Heart College students involved in the 2022 Schools in Philanthropy Program.
CEO Gail Rodgers with the Sacred Heart College students involved in this year’s Schools in Philanthropy Program.

We are delighted to see our Schools in Philanthropy Program return in 2022. Established by the Foundation in 2011, the program allows VCAL students predominantly in Year 12 to work with community organisations that have applied for grants while learning about philanthropy, social awareness and community leadership. The program aims to inspire young people to use enthusiasm, creativity and energy to foster a lifelong commitment to giving through activities that have a positive impact on their communities. The objectives of the Schools in Philanthropy Program are for students to enhance their development skills, work-related skills, industry-specific skills, and numeracy and literacy skills. This year, Oberon High School, Christian College, Surf Coast Secondary College and Sacred Heart College are involved in the program.

Class teachers from each school and Geelong Community Foundation Mentors deliver the enlightening program to the students. Here are the four modules of the program:
Launch – this module involves understanding the work of the Foundation, our grant-making process, social issues and philanthropy. It also includes time for reflection of individual and group values.
Learn – this module involves an understanding of community organisations, how they operate and their impact on social issues. It also explores how committees function and team dynamics.
Research – this module involves an understanding of concepts such as confidentiality and conflict of interest, the development of skills for interpreting grant applications, background research on the community organisations and the project/program for which they have applied for funding, as well as visiting the organisations and interviewing the grant applicants in order to make informed decisions and prepare recommendations for how the grant funds will be distributed.
Present – in this module, students develop communication and presentation skills in order to prepare a formal presentation to the Foundation’s Board at the end of the program that communicates their grant decisions and rationale, as well as their reflections on their learnings.

Each class group has three grant applications from the Foundation’s current grant round that they review, research, visit, analyse and ultimately recommend to the Board the funding that they each should receive. The grant requests are greater than the funds available to allocate, which mirrors the Foundation’s wider grant application process – this year, the Foundation has received 80 applications that are seeking almost $3 million; we have just over $1 million available to allocate.

The students will deliver their presentations/recommendations to the Board at an event to be held on Thursday April 28th at the Geelong Regional Library from 9-11am. Please email Gail Rodgers if you would like to come along – you are very welcome.