Paying It Forward: Does Teaching Philanthropy Change Behavior After Graduation?


  • Lisa B. Green Baldwin Wallace University
  • Christy B. Walkuski Baldwin Wallace University



philanthropy-based service-learning, high-impact practices


Although several studies have attempted to capture civic learning, philanthropic attitudes, career outcomes, and behavioral intentions immediately following the completion of an undergraduate student philanthropy service-learning course, there is a lack of research on the sustained effects of this high-impact practice. This study assessed the long-term effects of a philanthropy-based service-learning program compared with a matched sample of alumni who did not participate in a philanthropy-based course. Alumni completed surveys assessing demographics, current rates of volunteerism, charitable giving, and engagement within the nonprofit sector. They also completed the Civic Engagement Scale and the Civic Minded Graduate Scale. Philanthropy program alumni focus groups were conducted. The two groups did not differ on behavioral outcomes such as volunteerism and philanthropic giving; however, significant differences were found for civic attitudes and dispositions. Recommendations for best practices for philanthropy-based course design and implications for nonprofit education and leadership programs are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Lisa B. Green, Baldwin Wallace University

Department of Psychology


Christy B. Walkuski, Baldwin Wallace University

Brain Center for Community Engagement






High Impact in NonProfit