The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

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Generous U

Generous U

Generous U is a national contest to increase awareness and involvement of students on college campuses about the importance and impact of philanthropy and philanthropic values. Student groups are invited to compete for the $10,000 Sillerman Prize and the Generous U title. The competition is judged based on the cover letters and YouTube videos submitted by undergraduate and graduate students eligible to receive the prize through their college or university.

CLICK HERE to see the press release for the 2015 Generous U competition. This year's winner is the Students Supporting Students Campaign Committee within the School of Social Work at Rutgers University! The two runners-up are Mr. Wash U at Washington University in St. Louis and the Student Philanthropy Council at the University of Rhode Island. Additionally, two honorable mentions were selected, Towson University’s Presidential Ambassadors and the University of Miami’s Student Alumni Ambassadors.


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Check back for updates to the application for next year's Generous U Competition! 

BEFORE YOU APPLY: Please fill out your intent to apply prior to submitting your application.


1. Cover letter (maximum 3 pages): Format however best works for your group

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:

      First Paragraph should include:

  • University or college name
  • Group, club, or organization name
  • Briefly explain for what purpose your group was established
  • Group, club, or organization web site (if applicable)
  • Contact person’s name, email address, and phone number
  • Group advisor’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 $10,000 Sillerman Prize. To be eligible, the person must sign their own name in their statement of confirmation.
  • Budget for your philanthropy-related activities (Only include general operating expenses if your philanthropy-related activities constitute a significant portion of your work overall.

      The remainder of the cover letter should answer the following questions:

  • How does philanthropy relate to your group’s mission or purpose?
  • What impact does your work have on students and/or on the community? How do you know? For early stage activities, please describe your anticipated results and how you plan to measure them.
  • How will you increase the number of students on your campus involved in philanthropy, either directly in your group, or in other ways? How will you measure this increase?
  • How do you manage yourselves?
  • If you receive a cash prize, what will you use it for?

2. Video

A 3-minute video that tells us your story. Your video should reflect the personality and passion of your group, club, or organization. This video MUST be created for Generous U; however, you are welcome to submit a supplemental professionally made video along with your application. Please tell us:

  • Who you are and what you do.
  • How has your work raised awareness and/or giving on your campus?
  • How is philanthropy related to your group’s goals and mission?
  • How your work has impacted your campus and/or benefited the community.
  • Why your work could be considered a national model for other campuses.

3. Confirmation of Status

Please submit a letter confirming your status as a recognized student club, group, or organization on campus from a college or university official. The official must sign this letter. 

Application Submission:

Please submit your cover letter, link to your YouTube video, and letter of confirmation of status to Please put “Generous U Application” in the subject line of the email. All application materials are due on Friday, March 13, 2015.

All applications received by the deadline will be considered. Notifications will be sent upon receipt of completed applications. For questions, please contact Sheryl Seller at

Please note that while the Sillerman Center deeply respects volunteerism and community service, we will only consider activities designed to promote broad participation of philanthropy and giving.

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