Learning about business can also mean learning to be a good community member. That’s why West Virginia University students at the College of Business and Economics handed out $20,000 to local charities on April 26, during the final days of the spring semester.
They were participants in the Corporate Social Responsibility class, an undergraduate course that uses actual money to demonstrate the impact of student decision making in the real world.
The class solicited proposals for projects that would benefit the greater Morgantown community (where WVU is located), developed a set of criteria for judging them, and then chose the winners from among 34 proposals.
The program is in its 10th year, and students have awarded more than $225,000 since 2001. Funding for the program originally came from College of Business and Economics WVU alumni who recognize the importance of businesses contributing to the community. It is now funded primarily by the college.
This year, the class had more than $170,000 in requests from more than a score of needy charities, but only $20,000 to work with – on a smaller scale much like philanthropic organizations and corporate foundations that are forced to make difficult decisions about helping their communities.
Students used a spreadsheet with key areas of importance encompassing the beliefs and principles of the class. These areas were then placed on a scale and averaged to assign values to each funding request. Finally, students discussed the ratings and contributions of the agencies and used critical-thinking skills to come to a final decision.
In addition, students perform 30 hours of community service, which over the 10 years equates to some 5,000 hours of service to the Morgantown community.
This year’s Corporate Citizenship Project Grant recipients:
– Casa for Kids ($2,450 for training of new children advocates)
– Christian Help, Inc. ($2,500 for the Peanut Butter Project)
– Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia ($2,277 for a Children’s Theater)
– Milan Puskar Health Rite ($773 for blood pressure cuffs)
– PACE Enterprises ($3,500 for a smart board)
– RDVIC, Inc. ($2,000 for kids packs / stalking packs)
– Scott’s Run Settlement House ($3,000 for the Weekend Food Project)
– Stepping Stones ($2,500 for the Arts Without Limits Project)
– WV Family Grief Center ($1,000 for awareness brochures)
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CONTACT: Joyce Heames