DENISON VPC COMMUNITY BRIEF
VPC COMMU NITY BRIEF DENISON UNIVERSITY VENTURE PHILANTHROPY CLUB Selected Photos from 2011-2012
Connect with the VPC Mission Founded on campus at Denison University in 2008
Students traveled to meet with our friends at Social Venture Partners (SVP) Cincinnati in early November, sharing documents, stories, and insight about engaged philanthropy.
VPC was founded in 2008 through the generous gift of a Denison alum. Eight Denison students, supported by one faculty advisor, were tasked with constructing a different type of student organization from the ground up. More than four years later, the twenty-six members of VPC consistently return to the group’s Mission Statement, excerpted here, for guidance.
“Our purpose is to effect positive and meaningful change in the lives of others by increasing the capacity of local organizations. We accomplish this by:
The $10k Question, asked and answered
VPC supported Pathways of Central Ohio’s efforts to fight the #1 cause of accidental death in Ohio: prescription drug abuse. Above, a police-supervised collection box for unused prescription drugs.
VPC welcomed 20+ new members in 2011 and a new advisor, Dr. Fadhel Kaboub.
LCCH selected as VPC’s 2012 investee After a highly competitive studentrun grant process, Venture Philanthropy Club has chosen the Licking County Coalition for Housing (LCCH) to receive a grant of $10,000 and 200 collaborative service hours. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the students of the Denison VPC,” said Deb Tegtmeyer, executive director of LCCH, noting an excitement shared by VPC members. The mission of LCCH is “to provide a community forum to assess housing resources, to identify problems, and to create solutions through collaboration.” Transitional housing, housing referral services for homeless families, community planning, and education services are just some of the resources LCCH provides to Licking County.
(1) investigating pressing community needs and learning about the organizations that attempt to address them (2) training ourselves to make timely, effective, and well-administered philanthropic allocations to build in the capacity of local organizations (3) offering stewardship and support through direct service to recipient organizations.” DU VPC Mission Statement
The organization has experienced tremendous growth. LCCH started out with four housing units, one volunteer staff member, and $15,000 in funds in 1992 and has now grown to more than 40 housing units (serving nearly 80 households), with great success. VPC students will split into five teams to tackle a variety of capacitybuilding challenges. “We look forward to putting their intellects and enthusiasm to use as we overhaul our website and expand our organization's capabilities and capacities for service in the future,” Tegtmeyer added. “And we expect the experience to be mutually beneficial — the students will get a hands-on look at how a small, locally based nonprofit operates, while we get a chance to better understand how a new generation of donors utilizes current media and technologies.”
Fighting Rx abuse Pathways and VPC launch program In 2011, VPC invested in... (see p2)
DENISON VPC COMMUNITY BRIEF
MEET THE MODEL: COLLABORATING WITH PROFESSIONALS VPC’s student founders modeled the organization on existing VP firms like Social Venture Partners (SVP), a leader in venture philanthropy. VPC-ers continue to meet with SVP staff in Cleveland and Cincinnati to make connections and share insight. In Summer 2011, two VPC-ers interned at Cleveland SVP (CSVP), with Director Linda Springer. VPC and CSVP look forward to providing this great opportunity again in 2012 through the Denison Internship Program, supported by DU’s Burton D. Morgan Program for Liberal Arts and Entrepreneurship Education.
Pathways of Central Ohio, funding efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse is the #1 cause of accidental death in Ohio-- ahead of car accidents-- and the problem is getting worse. Pathways and VPC worked together on multiple initiatives, beginning with the formation of the Licking County Prescription Drug Task Force, a coalition of twenty-five agencies, law enforcement offices, pharmacies and other stakeholders. Pathways, the Task Force, and VPC created the RxCollect pilot program, an initiative that provides safe, secure disposal of pharmaceuticals at local police stations. The initiative helps get unused, unwanted drugs out of residents’ medicine cabinets (where the pills can be easily found, leading to abuse). Grant money was used to purchase drug collection bins that will be used year round to deposit the drugs in police station lobbies.
VPC did much of the foundational research required to initiate the program, one of the first of its kind, in addition to providing funding. Further, VPC co-developed promotional and educational materials with Pathways, resources which allowed Pathways to give six presentations on preventing prescription drug abuse to a total of 143 participants (more presentations being planned). VPC members created brochures, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts based on information provided by Pathways. VPC also helped by providing volunteer assistance at several events. Pathways director Kris Washington remarked, “Pathways staff alone would not have had the ability to do this work without the support of VPC. This opportunity created the momentum needed to gain awareness and community support to combat the growing
problem of prescription drug misuse and abuse.” Washington added that “[t]he creation of a ... prescription drug disposal program in Licking County will have a long term impact on the community and ... limit access and availability of prescription drugs.”
Students and professionals connect VPC students intern at CSVP Becoming a member of Denison University’s Venture Philanthropy Club not only provides students with a unique volunteer experience within the club, but can also lead to exciting opportunities in the professional world. Will Curto ’11 and Ellie Thompson ’11, recent VPC grads, spent the summer after their graduation interning with CSVP, a venture philanthropy firm in Cleveland (see photo caption, top of page). Thompson had the opportunity to
DENISON VPC COMMUNITY BRIEF
THE PRESS: VPC IN THE NEWS IN 2011-12 There was plenty to be enthusiastic about at the Denison Venture Philanthropy Club this year-- and several media outlets picked up the excitement. TheDEN, the Denison site featuring “news, stories, and ideas” from across campus, highlighted VPC in the lead up to VPC’s Big Red Weekend session in September (top screenshot). The article was cross-promoted on the official Denison twitter account (bottom screenshot).The Newark Advocate, the largest newspaper in Licking County, has featured a variety of stories about VPC’s capacity-building work with Pathways of Central Ohio. Find links and more info on VPC’s website. actively contribute to CSVP’s grant process, attending meetings, writing proposals, and gathering information for CSVP staff. Now a volunteer in the Peace Corp, Thompson’s experience at CVSP (and VPC) has influenced her career path. “Although, I may not get a chance to do venture philanthropy in the next couple of years, it is definitely something I would love to come back to after the Peace Corp,” said Thompson. Curto spent the summer researching CSVP investments and composing case studies for the CSVP staff. Both Denisonians highly recommend the experience-- which will be available to VPC again this summer.
Sharing the VPC story VPC hosts and presents at events VPC students were hard at work in the fall of 2011, speaking at or hosting multiple events. First came October’s Big Red Weekend-Denison’s Alumni and Parents Weekend. Alumni often want to know, “What do students do on campus-- what are they like now?” During last fall’s Big Red Weekend, a group of around twenty alumni, professors, students, parents, and community members took advantage of an opportunity to find out
what our students are up to. Six members of Denison’s Venture Philanthropy Club (Brittany Bower ’15, Susan Cherry ’15, Curtis Edmonds ’15, Josh Goldman ’14, Sarah Post ’15, and Laura Spinelli ’14) designed a presentation to share how VPC got its start, the club’s intense grant-making process, and how $10,000 and hundreds of hours of student work combine to effect positive change in Licking County. The presentation, titled “The $10K Question: How the Denison Community is Pioneering a Model for Student Development and Social Change,” also included a history of VPC investments and a Q&A by Goldman, Hurford, and Spinelli. In November, VPC also hosted the Licking County Leaders Forum on campus, where members of the DU community gathered to hear a panel of five local changemakers discuss the issues and assets of the Licking County community. The panel discussion, which included representatives from Newark Schools, Bridges Out of Poverty, the Licking County Foundation, the Newark Freedom School, and Ohio Campus Compact, is part of VPC’s commitment to understanding our community by “investigating pressing community needs.”
BY THE NUMBERS Increase in the number of grant applications received in 2011-2012
+56% Size of the 2011-2012 VPC Grant
$10k+ 200hr Number of hours worked by VPC-ers during Fall 2011
DENISON VPC COMMUNITY BRIEF
‘...very beneficial, real life experience...’ The VPC Class of 2011 reflects on club’s opportunities Before departing for positions in the Peace Corps, Teach for America, consulting, community development, and other pursuits, the very-talented DU/VPC Class of 2011 sat down together to reflect on their time with VPC. Selected comments are included below. Video of the reflection will hit the VPC website soon-- stay tuned. VPC gave us experience in dealing with people who are not in college. We had to make phone calls, have meetings and do other ‘adult’ things. It’s hard to get that experience [in other student organizations]. It was a very beneficial, real life experience that could have never been achieved inside the classroom. WILL CURTO Political Science and International Studies LYDIA BOOTE Sociology/Anthropology and International Studies
I joined VPC because it was a new take on volunteerism and service that I’d never heard of before. I liked the possibility of making change and doing something sustainable.
People really try to take on responsibility. If a job needs to get done, [a VPC member] always volunteers to do it. RACHEL MATTINGLY 2 Environmental Studies and International Studies
I appreciate that VPC forges a connection between impactful social change in the community and opportunities for growth in its members. ZACK GOLDMAN 1, 2, 3 Math and Physics Minor
I liked getting the chance to work really closely with an organization and do really meaningful things. It was a great opportunity to do things that are useful and productive. ....I would advise VPC members to just jump in, get super involved, and do as much as you can. COREY ACKERMAN 1, 2 Economics and Math 1Peace
Corps or Teach for America Corps Member Distinguished Leadership Award 3Denison Presidential Medalist
ELLIE THOMPSON 1 Sociology/Anthropology and International Studies
SNAPSHOTS From left to right: VPC-ers in the spring of 2011; students whimsically spell out V-P-C after a productive meeting; VPC-ers present Pathways of Central Ohio with the check for $5,000.
Denison University Venture Philanthropy Club (VPC) Student Membership Drew McCallister ‘12 Ryan Smith ’12 Kate Kloster ’13*✎ Nancy Aguilar ‘14 Tabytha Arthur ‘14 Aria Began ‘14✎ Margaret Buddig ‘14✎ Taylor Frame ’14* Debbie Gillum ’14✎ Josh Goldman ’14** Mallory Hinz ’14✎ Peter Hurford ’14*✎ Mia Manfredi ‘14 Hannah Smith ’14 Laura Spinelli ’14* Abbey Torrence ’14* Laura Venzke ’14* Emma Bosley-‐Smith ‘15✎ Brittany Bower ‘15 Susan Cherry ‘15
Emily Cosco ’15*✎ Curtis Edmonds ‘15 Kara Eversole ’14 Amanda Farr ‘15✎ Sahila Jorapur ’15*✎ Andrew Malin ‘15 Sarah Post ’15
Faculty and Staff Support Dr. Fadhel Kaboub, Co-Advisor Kathleen Powell, Co-Advisor Dr. Laurel Kennedy, Advisor Emeritus Stephanie Hunt-‐Theophilus, Support Team Dr. Lyn Robertson, Support Team Susie Kalinoski, Support Team
*Leadership Team **Chair ✎Community Brief Team
With Generous Support from... David Kuhns ’68 The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Denison Campus Governance Assoc. DU Alford Center for Service Learning DU Burton D. Morgan Program for Liberal Arts and Entrepreneurship Education
Recent Graduates Corey Ackerman Lydia Boote Will Curto Zack Goldman Mary Kimberly Rachel Mattingly Ellie Thompson Megan Keaveney
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