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Philanthropy Lab

Three Madison non-profits were awarded with a total of $50,000 from the Philanthropy Lab at UW-Madison, a program teaching students the ways of philanthropy and giving.


The Philanthropy Lab at UW-Madison is rewarding three nonprofits with grants totaling $50,000, the culmination of classwork in a unique lab teaching students the hows and whys of giving.

The lab, based at the School of Human Ecology on campus, was created in partnership with the Morgridge Center for Public Service and is sponsored by The Philanthropy Lab, a national foundation that has given over $6.8 million to develop philanthropy education at 22 schools in the U.S.

This school year, the UW lab awarded $25,000 to Maydm, $15,000 to Malawi Children’s Village and $10,000 to Horizon High School, according to a release from the university.

In its inaugural giving last year, the lab split the $50,000 five ways, with $10,000 going to each organization.

The three-credit class teaches the philanthropic process, with students going through proposals to decide which of the nonprofits should get funding.

“Students decide on the distribution of $50,000 to support philanthropic goals that reflect their values,” said professor Cynthia Jasper, lead instructor of the lab.

“They learn about the philanthropic process, including creating a giving plan, as well as exploring strategic and creative ways to give, that promote civil society and engagement,” she said.

Maydm, a local nonprofit working with girls and youths of color to introduce them to technology and programming, plans to work with 16 high school girls for six months, teaching life skills and technology skills.

The Malawi Children’s Village will use the funds to provide access to feminine hygiene products for girls in secondary school in Africa, and Horizon will use the funds to cover one year’s expenses for the school’s life skills program.


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.