By Hadley Montgomery
In October of 2016, students of the University were notified of an opportunity to learn about Philanthropy through the South Cumberland Community Fund (SCCF). The vision of the SCCF is “that the Plateau be a place of hope and prosperity for all its residents and communities, inspired by the Fund’s philanthropic and regional leadership.” Since 2012, the SCCF has invested approximately $500,000 into non-profit organizations on the Plateau through grants. Each year, a grant cycle in the spring is open to all non-profits on the plateau who wish to better the community. There is no minimum for the grant amount; however, the maximum amount is $10,000.
The Community Partnership Philanthropy Internship (CCPI) aims to allow students to participate in the philanthropy field while still in college. The interns will go through the grant-making process with the SCCF and in the fall, will be able to delegate, via grants, $30,000 to the non-profits on the plateau of their choosing. To be selected, the students were required to answer a series of questions and participate in an interview process. This year, Anna McClain (C’18), Ashley Krueger (C’18), Clara Kim (C’18), Eleanor Jurgensen (C’18), Kelsey Arbuckle (C’19), and Hadley Montgomery (C’18) are participating in the inaugural year of the internship.
Throughout the next year, the interns will learn about the philanthropy world with the help of Kai Koopman, Office of Civic Engagement Office Coordinator, Nicky Hamilton, Senior Associate Director of Community Engagement, and Laura Willis, the Executive Director of the South Cumberland Community Fund. Each of these mentors brings a level of expertise to the program. The members of the CPPI Internship read the Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie along with many other readings to enhance their knowledge and understanding of philanthropy.
Along with defining philanthropy, the interns meet with the SCCF grants committee and the non-profits submitting grants. Going through the process allows the interns to learn about what it entails to apply for a grant and be accepted. “I really enjoyed all my civic engagement work and I was excited to be more involved with the administrative side of it,” said Kelsey Arbuckle. In the fall, the interns will go through the process of pledging $30,000 to deserving non-profits on the plateau. This internship allows the interns to be involved with aiding the community in a unique way many never get to experience. McClain said, “CPPI is a really great opportunity to learn more about the community surrounding Sewanee. I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught in the “Sewanee bubble” so CPPI is an amazing opportunity to learn about and engage in philanthropy that directly affects the area we live in.”
Pull Quote: “The Community Partnership Philanthropy Internship (CCPI) aims to allow students to participate in the philanthropy field while still in college”