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The Social Investment Club: A New Take on Student-Run Giving

SASI+members+talking+with+Ms.+O%E2%80%99Brien+from+the+St.+Andrew%27s+Advancement+Office.%0A
SASI members talking with Ms. O’Brien from the St. Andrew's Advancement Office.

SASI members talking with Ms. O’Brien from the St. Andrew's Advancement Office.

Ben Waksberg

Ben Waksberg

SASI members talking with Ms. O’Brien from the St. Andrew's Advancement Office.

Anna Fiscarelli-Mintz, Contributing Writer

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Founded in September 2016, the Social Investment Club is introducing a new type of student-run giving to the landscape of SAES service. The SASI Club, or St. Andrew’s Social Investment, works to affect social and environmental change in a distinct area of need through grantmaking while educating the next generation of philanthropists in the ways of meaningful, purpose-driven giving. At the beginning of the year, members of the club voted to select an area of need in the community they felt most passionate about that would serve as the focus of the club’s mission statement. SASI members elected to help endangered wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed including the Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle, Eastern Oyster, and Shad, as they felt particularly interested in keeping the focus local along with helping animals in need. To secure the funds necessary to make grants in this area of need, the Social Investment Club has undertaken a variety of fundraising endeavors including holding near-monthly paid alumni ‘telethons’ in conjunction with the SAES advancement office as well as a crowdsourcing campaign on www.crowdrise.com. St. Andrew’s has also generously given the club a one-time matching grant to help kick of SASI’s grantmaking efforts along with start-up costs and internal expenses. In regards to the educational aspect, SASI members have invited parents working in the world of philanthropy to speak at club meetings and advise the club on the ‘best practices’ of grantmaking and the professional world of charitable giving. (Continued from paper edition) Members are now in the process of drafting grant proposal forms and an online publicity campaign and will soon go on an outing to visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in person. With help and guidance from the St. Andrew’s Advancement office, the Social Investment Club is well on its way towards making impactful grants to local organizations to help endangered animals in the Chesapeake Bay. The Director of Advancement, Ms. Blair Kane, is a frequent and gracious source of such guidance as the SASI club’s faculty advisor. Ms. Kaine explains the importance of youth social investment, writing “Americans are generous, giving almost $400 billion in donations each year. But it’s surprisingly easy to do harm by making bad charitable choices. Smart social investment means asking hard questions, including: What problem am I really trying to solve here? Why is this organization’s program the right solution? Is the short-term fix actually creating a bigger long-term problem? How much overhead and administration are they charging? How much is actually reaching the intended recipient? Is this organization reputable? Is it sustainable? These SASI students are learning, essentially, to be thoughtful grantmakers who take all of these questions into account.” And the SASI students are ready and willing to do just that: they’re passionate about making purpose-driven philanthropy a priority amongst the next generation. When asked why she joined Social Investment, club treasurer Maddie Amick responded: “Growing up, philanthropy and making a difference were core ideas instilled in me. I was taught that my fortunate upbringing could help the less fortunate and that it was my duty to do so. As I grow up and become my own person I am choosing to continue this effort through the student based social investment club.” Similarly, Amelia Leahy, head of the club’s outreach committee, explained “The Social Investment club is important to me because I think that philanthropy is a term not often heard of, and something that deserves and requires much more awareness. I think what makes our club so special is that it is raising awareness surrounding a field of work that is incredibly relevant to today and the future. On top of that, it is inspiring and teaching the next generation of philanthropists.” With dedicated advisors and enthusiastic members, the Social Investment Club is eagerly bringing a new take on thoughtful, purpose-driven giving to St. Andrew’s.

Stay updated on the SASI story via Facebook and Twitter @ SAESSocialInvestment or contribute to the club’s grantmaking efforts www.crowdrise.com/SAESSocialInvestment.

 

 

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