IUPUI “Learning by Giving” class to give $10,000 grant to Growing Places Indy to support urban agriculture, access to fresh local food

Growing Places Indy will receive a $10,000 grant today from students in the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI’s Learning by Giving class.

Growing Places Indy empowers people to cultivate individual, family, and community wellness, with a vision to create a more just and equitable food system. It accomplishes this through a four-pronged approach focused on urban agriculture, access to fresh local foods, mind-body education, and entrepreneurship.

Students in the Learning by Giving class selected the local nonprofit for funding following a rigorous application and evaluation process. In the hands-on course, students learn and implement the process of making charitable grants and giving wisely, from deciding which community issues to address and writing requests for grant proposals to conducting site visits at nonprofits, evaluating applications, and deciding where to award the money. The grant funds were provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation and PNC Foundation.

“From the beginning, the students were clear that they wanted to address pressing needs in Central Indiana and to help people live healthy and meaningful lives. They were committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to exploring how to best support organizations in the context of COVID-19’s many challenges,” said Genevieve Shaker, Ph.D., the course’s instructor and an associate professor of philanthropic studies. “In making the grant, students experienced the hard and gratifying task of making big philanthropic choices, practiced working together to achieve a shared goal, and explored how to apply their new knowledge in their own lives.”

While many donors and funders often designate their charitable giving for a specific use or program, these Learning by Giving class students deliberately chose to focus on nonprofits’ need for unrestricted funding, i.e., funds that are available for current, general use, which allow nonprofits the flexibility to direct the support to meet priority needs.

“We are thankful for the generous contribution that we’ve received on behalf of the Learning by Giving Foundation and PNC Foundation,” said Victoria Beaty, Executive Director of Growing Places Indy. “At Growing Places Indy, we know that just food systems exist when all communities have equal access to locally grown and fresh foods. Thanks to this grant, we will be able to continue our essential work serving the Indianapolis community.”

If you are interested in learning more about IUPUI’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, click here.


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