Independent Sector Announces New Education Partnership

Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate givers working to strengthen philanthropy and citizen action, has announced a new partnership with Learning to Give, a national initiative designed to teach millions of elementary and high school students about the historical role and value of America's not-for-profit sector and the importance of philanthropy.

In response to survey results that have raised concerns about Americans' personal engagement in the life of their communities and in American youths' understanding of core social values, the Learning to Give initiative was launched four years ago by the Council of Michigan Foundations to teach K-12 students about philanthropy. Through the project, hundreds of public school teachers have volunteered to write and then field test in their own classrooms lessons that weave the concepts and historical importance of philanthropy into elementary and high school classes in history, geography, government, and economics.

To aid the effort to expand the initiative to 90,000 public schools and 25,000 private schools serving 54 million K-12 students, Independent Sector has volunteered to provide office space for the project.

"For Independent Sector, the Learning to Give Project seemed a critical match with our own mission and objectives," said IS President and CEO Sara E. Mel´┐Żndez. "It is vitally important to our democracy and our future that youth gain an appreciation of the special role of voluntary action and philanthropy in building the kind of America and world we all desire. This important project will help do just that."

Major funders for the effort include the Ford Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation.

Other national partners include the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council on Foundations, the National Center on Black Philanthropy, and the National Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.

To download any of the nearly 500 lesson plans created and field tested by teachers, visit the Learning to Give Web site:

"Independent Sector to Partner on Nationwide Philanthropy Education Project" Independent Sector Press Release 05/04/2001.