The purpose of the Students in Philanthropy program is to provide students the opportunity to improve the quality of life in their communities. Participants learn about the importance of philanthropy and the role of nonprofit organizations in the community. Through the fund development and grant making process, students not only make needed contributions to nonprofit organizations, but also gain leadership and stewardship training through a structured program designed to educate, support and promote philanthropic leadership in the community.
The first SIP program was established in 1997 at Midland College through the leadership and funding of the Abell-Hanger Foundation. The Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust began co-funding the Midland programs in 2007. Today, there are eight programs in the Permian Basin - three college programs and five high school programs.
The SIP programs last a full school year. During the Fall semester the students concentrate on fundraising efforts and volunteering. In the Spring the students invite grant applications from the local nonprofits, review the grant applications and hold a grant award ceremony at the end of the year.
The high school programs meet on a daily basis and the class counts as an elective credit toward graduation. The college programs meet as a weekly club and students are provided a scholarship of $500 per semester. The students also participate in two area wide SIP conferences per year - one in the Fall and one in the Spring.
Each program is lead by a campus coordinator who meets with the students on a regular basis and facilitates and guides the students in all their activities. The Abell-Hanger Foundation provides a staff person to oversee the programs.
The trustees of the Abell-Hanger Foundation continue to fund the SIP program and are proud of what it has done, not only for our communities but also for the students who participate.