Sunday, December 11, 2016

Final Interview with Dr. Warner

Dr. Warner is someone that I have been truly lucky to learn from and get to know. He does an incredible job teaching this course and providing his students with amazing mentorship. Check out this Q&A with Dr. Warner

Question: What do you think the benefits of this course are?
Answer  I think this course exemplifies Elon’s ideal of engaged learning – students don’t just read or hear about philanthropy and program design, they see it and do grant-writing.  I like experiential learning and that is one of the highlights of this course. 

Question: What did you think of our class' decision making process? Did you think we worked well together?
AnswerYour class was very deliberative about its decision making.  You often reviewed and reworked points you had agreed on – this really slowed your process down but ultimately resulted in a decision that people we satisfied with.  You took longer than any other class had taken, but you really tried to get everyone’s input.  I think there was a concern that some voices weren’t being heard, so you went backwards often to make sure everyone was content moving forward.  

Question: How did our class' decision making process compare to that of last years class?
Answer   Each class is unique –it is difficult to compare them

Question: What is your favorite part about teaching this course?
AnswerMy favorite part of teaching this course is seeing the group presentations and working with the groups. There is a point where students start to “get” how this whole process works, how all the pieces of a program and grant proposal go together.  It is exciting when that happens.  The presentations are one way you demonstrate this.  Working individually with each group also gives me the opportunity to see students grasp the ideas that are involved.  I am always amazed at how much information students gather and put together in a relatively short amount of time.

Question: Have you had people come to you after they graduate and talk about how this course helped them?
AnswerI have had numerous students let me know about how valuable this course was, whether because they are now writing grants or helping to write them or assisting agencies in figuring out outputs and outcome measures J  One story in particular stands out.  A student in an MSW program (UNC-CH) was taking a course in program design and the professor asked if anyone knew what a logic model was.  She raised her hand, and the professor skeptically said ”Really?  What is it?”  She answered correctly and then the professor asked where she had learned this.  She replied” Well, I had this course at Elon University that was supported by the Learning By Giving Foundation where we learned about philanthropy and how grant-writing works….  It is always rewarding to hear things like this.  Teaching is a lot like planting trees – it often takes a while to see the results of one’s labors.

Grant Giving Ceremony- PAYC

Below is a video of PAYC receiving their $2,500!

Grant Giving Ceremony - Classroom Closet

Below is a video of Classroom Closet receiving their $2,500! 

Grant Giving Ceremony

As mentioned previously, we all started our full time internships once we got back from Fall Break. We all had different internships but still met for one of our other classes once a week. It was during one of our class periods that we held a grant ceremony for the two organizations that we had chosen. Staff from both The Village Project and Classroom closet came to receive their checks. All were very appreciative and it was an incredible experience. Look for the videos in a different post!

Last video interview

Here is an interview with Maike Hirst. Hope you enjoy! 

Decision Day

Decision day came upon our class quicker than we realized it would.

A few days prior to decision day, our class discussed the format we would use to make our decision.

We chose a format similar to what we had used for the ethical dilemma and letter activity.

Below is the sheet that was created too keep our class organized.

Each person ranked the groups individually based on if the program addressed the stated problem well, sustainability/longevity, well defined mission/goals, and budget. After doing our individual rankings, we got into our project group and ranked the different programs as a group.

Each group then sent a delegate to another room to talk and make a decision.

Below are two pictures of the delegates talking through their decision.

Once the delegates came back, they shared their decisions. The delegates posted the ranking on the board for everyone to see. They decided that the top two organizations that should get the money were The Village Project and Classroom Closet.

To ensure everyone was content with the decision, we all wrote a number from 1-10 (1 being least content and 10 being very content) to indicate how we felt about the decision.

Below are two pictures of this process:

As you can see in the first picture, not everyone was happy with the organizations that were chosen. Those that were unhappy were given the opportunity to explain why, and gave the class the opportunity to hear them.

We spent a significant amount of time listing the pros and cons of sticking with the choice the delegates made. At the end of two hours, we were still unsure. Dr. Warner made the executive decision to have us reconvene the next day - this would give us all time to think and process.

Below is a picture of our class discussion

On the second decision day, the class came back refreshed and ready to decide.

After much discussion about sustainability and which organizations could use the money the most, it was decided that we would give the money to...

PAYC (Positive Action Youth Center) AND CLASSROOM CLOSET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The decision was made on the last day of class and we were all going on fall break. After fall break each student was placed at a different internship in Alamance County where we would utilize the skills we had learned throughout the semester.

Friday, December 9, 2016


In our final week of class, we all presented our projects to each other. This was meant to help inform everyone else about the different proposals so we could all make an educated decision.

When presenting, each group treated the class as a board of directors. There were many questions asked about each presentation as everyone was trying to gain as much knowledge about the different programs as possible. 

Each presentation and paper draft was posted on the class website for people to reference over the weekend. 

Posted below are pictures from our presentations!

PAYC Presentation

Classroom Closet Presentation 

Elon Academy Presentation

High School in the Village Presentation