Story by Stella Childress, Contributing writer
Bob and Patricia Long, establishers of the Giving Back Endowment, received a matching grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to their $50,000 donation.
The endowment now has a total of $165,000 as $65,000 has been contributed by individual donors, many of them Murray State students, known as founders of the endowment.
The Giving Back Endowment promotes student philanthropy and experiential learning across all disciplines on campus.
Starting in Fall 2017, all faculty will be invited to submit proposals to receive money to incorporate a service learning project in their class and a few will be selected.
Long said that David Whaley, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, has agreed to help facilitate the application process of the endowment.
The money in the endowment will never be spent but will generate interest that can finance student philanthropic work at Murray State forever, as an endowment generates funds but never spends the principle amount.
In 2008, after working at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for 16 years, Long came to Murray State to teach in the Nonprofit Leadership Studies. He started the Giving Back Endowment that same year.
Long said a perk of retirement from W.K Kellogg is a two to one matching of donations to youth development programs.
According to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation website, the foundation “supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.”
Long said his goals go further than the W.K. Kellogg Foundation mission by expanding service learning to all disciplines, not just the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program where the student philanthropy work began at Murray State.
Long said since he is a nontraditional professor, not having received his doctorate until his 40s but having prior experience in the nonprofit field, he wanted every class he taught to have a “live” component.
Long said the student philanthropy projects add the live component and the Giving Back Endowment helps generate the revenue to do those projects.
He said receiving money for philanthropy projects that involve youth giving back to the community is easy, because people value that work.
Long has worked in youth development for many years.
“I was often working with the more vulnerable youth and looking for the edge that gives them a more meaningful learning experience,” Long said.
He began examining the perception of money having value and started raising money for the youth to give back to the community as a philanthropy project.
“When kids that are marginalized and undervalued are seen doing real work in the public, something that matters to them, they know it and the public knows it,” Long said. “They are viewed differently and they view themselves differently.”