July 24, 2012

Philanthropy: Engaging and Equipping the Next Generation

The president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, Tom Keith, recently posted the following message about engaging and equipping the next generation of philanthropy:

How will the next generation of leaders contribute to the world of philanthropy or will they? Giving time, money and talent has been a hallmark of society in America for decades and even centuries. People have given their time, talent and treasure to schools, churches, civic organizations and a host of other nonprofit endeavors. Previous generations, including both my parents and grandparents, did their part to support and give of themselves. It was engrained in their culture.
We now have an intelligent and sophisticated group of young people that will soon enter the workforce. We need to be sure to expose this next generation to philanthropy the way the last two generations before me.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is embarking on a new partnership designed to educate and inspire today’s college students about the world of philanthropy. Our goal is to help them understand the philosophical underpinnings of the philanthropic sector by hearing and learning from leaders across the southeast. We help educate students about the operational and organizational aspects of the field of philanthropy including:

    What it means to serve on a board
    What it means to create a Trust to give funds to the community
    What it means to work in the field of philanthropy and nonprofits
    What the jobs are in these sectors and what skills are needed to fill those jobs
    How to understand issues that impact the community and
    How an individual can make a difference.

Once these areas are covered, the students will create a project that will benefit an underserved population in their community. The project will build on the students’ skills and abilities. “Hands on” experiences have much value and enable students to learn and grow very quickly. It is an opportunity to put into practice what they are taught in the classroom.
With their peers, students will explore the breadth and depth of the nonprofit sector, acquiring the aptitude, knowledge and network to engage with philanthropy in a deliberate way. In the coming months, the Foundation will announce the partnership and this new program for next generation leaders.
I am very optimistic about the upcoming generation of leaders. Given the right tools and exposure to good role models, they will carry the torch of leadership in philanthropy well into the future. As a philanthropic Foundation, we will do our part to ensure this happens.

-- Tom Keith, president, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina


The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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