Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Promising Futures: The Unexpected Rewards of Engaged Philanthropy

Released by:
Harvard Graduate School of Education
May 23,2006

A new book authored by HGSE Adjunct Lecturer Margot Welch investigates the rewards that come to philanthropists who make long-term, active commitments with low-income children and their education. Promising Futures: The Unexpected Rewards of Engaged Philanthropy draws on data from philanthropists who have been sponsors for the I Have a Dream Foundation® (IHAD) since the mid-1980s. IHAD supports children in under-resourced communities by providing long-term programs of mentoring, tutoring, and enrichment, and financial support for higher education.

“This is philanthropy that’s very active, engaged, and involved,” Welch says. “Unlike those who just simply write checks, these philanthropists roll up their sleeves and get intimately involved with the people whose futures they are determined to improve. They establish personal relationships with kids, their families, and their schools for long [periods of] time.”

Promising Futures focuses on the ways in which engaged philanthropy can have profound effects on both the children and the philanthropists. Welch explains that as philanthropists start applying their entrepreneurial skills to the challenges confronting low-income communities, they often find themselves putting education and child-focused efforts at the center of their lives. Many become very involved in developing new schools, school-based enrichment programs, education policy programs, and foundation-center efforts that focus on strengthening education for children.

Welch was the founding director of the Collaborative for Integrated School Services, a practitioner-driven, University-based initiative which, until its closure in 2003, aimed to enhance the success of all children by bringing professional development opportunities and resources to those who provide child and family services. She worked closely with students, faculty, and graduates of the Risk and Prevention Program to help disseminate new models of service and training and build supportive networks among practitioners. For the past five years, her focus has been on evolving full-service and community school programs, nationwide.

Promising Futures: The Unexpected Rewards of Engaged Philanthropy is available through Font and Center Press and the I Have a Dream Foundation®. For more information, visit: www.ihaveadreamfoundation.com


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