Bring home the title!
What is Generous U?
Generous U is a national contest celebrating philanthropy and charitable giving on U.S. college campuses. Student groups, clubs, and organizations are invited to compete for the $5,000 Sillerman Prize and the Generous U title by demonstrating their success in:
- engaging a substantial number of peers in charitable giving.
- increasing philanthropic awareness and a culture of giving on campus.
- nurturing the lifelong habit of charitable giving.
- developing a model that can be adopted on other campuses.
Generous U is sponsored by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
How is Generous U related to past years' competitions for the Sillerman Prize?
The Sillerman Center has been awarding the Sillerman Prize since 2010 through a national competition focused on innovation in philanthropy among undergraduate and graduate students. Generous U is a reconceptualization of that competition based on our recognition that student philanthropy most often thrives on campuses that have a culture of giving back.
What is the Generous U title?
The honorary title of Generous U will be awarded to the winner’s college or university. A certificate, press kit, and plaque that may be kept on permanent display anywhere on campus will be provided by the Sillerman Center. As with any national trophy or prize, the whole campus can take pride in the Generous U designation symbolizing exceptional community service in producing the future generation of philanthropists.
Who can compete?
Student groups, clubs, and organizations, including Greek Life associations (fraternities and sororities), may compete in Generous U if they are formally recognized by their college or university and chartered to accept the $5,000 Sillerman Prize as an organized entity. (The prize cannot be awarded to an individual). The Sillerman Center will confirm the winner’s status at its college or university prior to awarding the Sillerman Prize and Generous U title. Applicants are encouraged to include a letter confirming their status on campus from a college or university official with their submission.
Some Questions you may ask:
We’re not an official group, club, or organization, but we do promote philanthropy on campus. Can we still compete?
Please check with your school’s Student Activities or Student Life office to determine whether you can compete under the auspices of a formally recognized group, club, or organization that can accept the Sillerman Prize on your behalf.
What activities are eligible?
We will consider any organized activity intended to encourage charitable giving by students. Examples include giving campaigns or campus-wide challenges, giving circles, social networking or social media initiatives, publications, or intercollegiate events.
What activities are not eligible?
The judges will not consider routine membership drives or dues collection for which the group, club, or organization is the ultimate beneficiary. However, fundraising to support programs, projects, or activities directly related to promoting philanthropy or charitable giving on campus are eligible.
While the Sillerman Center deeply respects volunteerism and community service, we will only consider activities designed to promote broad participation in the giving of one’s own financial resources.
How can my group compete?
Click here for the contest instructions. Additionally, please fill out the Intent to Apply form. The competition will be judged on the basis of a two-part submission including a written essay and three-minute video. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013.
How will the competition be judged?
A panel of volunteers from university campuses and the philanthropic and business communities will judge the competition. The judges will be looking for:
- high quality written and video submissions.
- creativity and innovation - something that has not been attempted before or a new twist on something that may already exist in some form.
- evidence that the activity has increased or will increase the understanding and/or practice of philanthropic giving now and in the future.
- cost-effectiveness of the activity relative to how much giving it catalyzes; sustainability of the activity over time.
- adaptability of the activity to other campuses.
- impact of giving on the promotion of social justice, increasing access to service, or other issue that is relevant to the community.
- evidence of change in the campus culture.
Are students taking experiential philanthropy (grant making) courses eligible to compete?
The application must be submitted under the auspices of a recognized student group, club, or organization and should demonstrate what distinguishes the applicant’s approach from other student grant making programs. An experiential philanthropy course in which grants are made with an outside donor’s money are not eligible unless individual students taking the class apply under the auspices of recognized clubs where they are actively engaged in or promoting the giving of one’s own financial resources.
My question isn’t answered here. What should I do?
Please contact Claudia Jacobs, Associate Director, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, email: GenerousU@brandeis.edu.
A two-part submission is required, an essay and a video.
Part One. “Our Plan”
Please tell us how you have increased the practice and awareness of philanthropy or charitable giving of one’s own financial resources on your campus in a written submission that includes the following elements:
1. Cover sheet containing:
- university or college name
- group, club, or organization name
- group, club, or organization web site (if applicable)
- contact person’s name, email address, and phone number
- name and contact information for a college or university official who can confirm your status as a formal group, club, or organization eligible to receive the $5,000 Sillerman Prize
2. A 3-5 page essay containing the following elements. Please provide a header for each section:
- your mission or purpose (For what purpose was your group established?)
- your organizational structure (How are you organized and how do you manage yourselves?)
- motivation for promoting philanthropic practice and awareness on your campus (How does giving relate to your mission or purpose?)
- strategy and activities (How do your promote philanthropic practice and awareness on your campus?)
- results (What impact does your work have on students and on the community? How do you know? For early stage activities, please describe your anticipated results and how you plan to measure them.)
- budget for your philanthropy-related activities (Only include general operating expenses if your philanthropy-related activities constitute a significant portion of your work overall.)
- sustainability plan (How will you keep students engaged and continue funding your activities over time?)
- lessons learned (What have you learned that will help you increase your effectiveness in the future or help other organizations adopt this activity on their campuses?)
3. If possible, a letter confirming your status as a recognized student club, group, or organization on campus from a college or university official.
Submission: Email your written submission as a single PDF to Claudia Jacobs, Associate Director, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, at GenerousU@brandeis.edu no later than 5 p.m. EST on Friday, March 15, 2013.
Part Two. “Our Story”
In a 3-minute video, please tell us your story. Your video should reflect the personality and passion of your group, club, or organization. Please tell us:
- Who you are.
- What you care about.
- How philanthropy and charitable giving factor into your commitment to making a difference.
- What you do.
- How your work has influenced your peers’ giving and philanthropic awareness.
- How your work has impacted your campus and benefited the community.
- What your success has meant to you.
- Why your work should be considered a national model.
Submission: Upload your video to YouTube and share a link with us by email at GenerousU@brandeis.edu no later than 5 p.m. EST on Friday, March 15, 2013. The subject line should read: Generous U/your university/your group name.