College Courses In Philanthropy

(Credit: BERTRAND GUAY/Getty Images)

(Credit: BERTRAND GUAY/Getty Images)

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If someone told you to give away $50,000, how would you do it?

Students in a philanthropy course at Northwestern University, with funds from a Texas hedge fund manager, had to answer that question, first finding out about non-profit organizations, see if they stand up to scrutiny, then consider them for a contribution.

College classes in philanthropy started in 2011 and Princeton, Harvard and Yale also offer this “real world experience.” For students, it’s a way to learn about the non-profit world or train for becoming philanthropists themselves.

Geoffrey P. Raynor, a wealthy backer in Texas, attaches strings to his contributions, requesting 2 hours to speak with each class. Explaining that it’s all about making ethical choices, he says “If there’s only one seat in a lifeboat. Who do you save?”

People think giving money away is easy. These courses show it’s hard.

Read more in The New York Times.

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