The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

Generous U

Generous U Banner

Generous U is a national contest to increase philanthropy and philanthropic values on U.S. college campuses. Student groups are invited to compete for the $10,000 Sillerman Prize and the Generous U title. The competition is judged on YouTube videos and essays submitted by college and graduate students eligible to receive the prize through their college or university.

Submission Requirements

Please fill out your intent to apply prior to submitting your application.

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 if affiliated
  • 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 $10,000 Sillerman Prize. To be eligible the person must sign their own name. 

2. A  three page essay containing the following elements. Please provide a header for each section:

  • How will you increase the number of students on your campus involved in philanthropy? Either directly in your group, or in other ways. Remember, this is the most important question because of the goal of Generous U is to involve more students on campuses in giving.
  • Your mission or purpose (For what purpose was your group established?)
  • Your organizational structure  (How are you organized and how do you manage yourselves?)
  • How does giving of financial resources 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 and after the current leadership graduates?)
  • Lessons learned (What have you learned that will help to increase effectiveness in the future or help other campus organizations adopt this activity on their campuses?
  • How will you know that your group is successful in increasing philanthropic leanings of students on your campus
  • What will you use the cash prize or runner up prize for?

3. 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.
  • 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.

4. A letter confirming your status as a recognized student club, group, or organization on campus from a college or university official.

Submission: Please follow this link and submit all parts no later than 5 p.m. EST on Monday, March 3, 2014.

Please note that 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. If you have any questions, please email us at

Copyright 2014 • Brandeis University • All rights are reserved