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Colby College Students in Sociology Class About Philanthropy Inspire Maine PR Maven

Nancy Marshall, principal of Nancy Marshall Communications

On Thursday, February 28, I had the pleasure of speaking to a Sociology class at Colby College called “Learning by Giving.”  Colby is my alma mater, and my son Craig is currently a student there, so Colby holds a special place in my heart.  I love going to the beautiful campus on Mayflower Hill in Waterville and this time was no exception. Professor Tom Morrione, who has become a good friend over the years, has asked me to speak to this class three times over the last three years, and every time I come away feeling inspired and optimistic about the future. The students at Colby are so smart and motivated to change the world that they energize me! I hope that in some small way, my passion for public relations and marketing, particularly in promoting nonprofits, helps to inspire and energize them!

Colby College students Hilary Walker, Lisa Kaplan and Stefanie Solar celebrate their work with Steve Mayberry from Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers in 2011.
Photo courtesy John Meader

Learning by Giving” is part of a national movement funded by Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation that “supports and promotes the study of philanthropy nationwide by giving students the opportunity to wrap more than just their heads around what it means to run a nonprofit, it invites them to put their heart and soul into the learning experience by working directly with nonprofit leaders.” It teaches the students about philanthropic giving, and how to assess a nonprofit organization. They actually have real money, $10,000 to be precise, to give away to several area nonprofits as the intent of the course is to teach them real-life lessons about how philanthropists evaluate nonprofits for their charitable gifts.

Several of the students will be working this spring with the teen pregnancy program of our client, The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, in Waterville.  The other area nonprofits that will benefit from Colby volunteerism, and potentially donations, are the Kennebec Valley Dental  Health Association and the South End Neighborhood Association in Waterville.

Kudos to Professor Tom Morrione and his 15 class members at Colby!  Thank you for indulging me while I spoke about public relations, marketing communications, social media marketing and my views on nonprofit effectiveness.

3 Responses to Colby College Students in Sociology Class About Philanthropy Inspire Maine PR Maven

  • Kaitlyn Bernard says:

    Thank you so much for visiting our class and sharing your “Marshall Plan” with us! The structure and simplicity of the plan makes it incredibly valuable!

    I will definitely share the ideas you presented with the newly developing “Central Maine Ski Club” ( as we try to boost awareness and participation from the Waterville community. I’ll let you know how it works out! Thanks again!

  • Amanda Lavigueur says:

    Thank you so much for coming to our class and sharing your insight with us. We greatly enjoyed learning so much from you and look forward to applying these lessons as we work with our non-profits!

  • Dear Kaitlyn: I will be eager to hear how your Central Maine Ski Club develops its brand and communicates its value to the Waterville community! Please keep me posted. Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed meeting you at Colby College.

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