For seven years Denison Venture Philanthropy (DVP) has been investing both money and time in the Licking County community, working to “effect meaningful change in the lives of others.” Each year, the unique student philanthropy group offers a grant of $10,000 and 200 student volunteer hours. The grant is only offered to local non-profit organizations, who can apply by completing and submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP). DVP will evaluate these proposals and examine community needs before selecting one winning organization to award the grant to. An electronic version of this RFP, along with other information, is available at the website www.denison.edu/dvp. Completed RFPs should be emailed to the organization’s Vice Chair of Investee Oversight, Oliver Gladfelter, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, September 3. You may additionally submit a hardcopy to Oliver Gladfelter, 7289 Slayter Union, Granville, Ohio 43023, or fax to 740-587-6348. Questions about the RFPs will be fielded by Oliver Gladfelter at email@example.com or by the group’s faculty advisor, Fadhel Kaboub at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 740-587-6315.
To date, more than $47,500 and 1,100 student hours have been invested in the Licking County community by the DVP. The recipient of last year’s grant was the Look Up Center, whose project was to upgrade the organization’s technology in order to increase the effectiveness of the organization. If the project serves its purpose, it will help the association better address the needs of the community, as well as increasing community participation in the programs and services offered by the Look Up Center.
Grants for the program are mostly funded through the generosity of David Kuhns, a member of the Denison class of 1968. In 2008 Kuhns challenged Denison students to organize an effort based around philanthropy – but one that also required an investment of student time as well as dollars. Now each year DVP students take an active part in the Licking County community by supporting an area organization with funding and at least 200 hours of service. DVP thus creates strong ties between the community and Denison, and offers real-world experience to its students.
In the past, grants from DVP have been used to aid homeowners in financial distress, support literacy, and to create an RxCollect program to safely and securely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. DVP has a history with increasing the overall effectiveness of the winning organizations, which is a trend the student committee is looking to continue in the following year.
Following the selection of this year’s recipient, members of DVP will volunteer their time with the winning organization from January through April, and also will work with them to conduct an outcomes assessment of the grant.