Skip to content

10 years of ‘learning to give, giving to learn’

People in this story

NS4G brochure

They call themselves Northeastern Students4Giving (NS4G). Their motto is “learning to give, giving to learn.” And their mission is to make a positive and lasting impact in Boston communities through grant making.

Ten years ago, when SPPUA’s Rebecca Riccio launched NS4G, an experiential philanthropy education program that combines rigorous academic content with real-dollar grant making, she couldn’t have predicted the impact her students would have on local communities.

Students came up with the program’s name, and they developed a mission statement, funding priority, application guidelines, applicant assessment standards, site visit protocols, and a grantee selection process. Now, more than 400 NS4Gers have awarded $150,000 in grants to 20 local nonprofit organizations.

On Thursday, April 19, NS4G celebrated its 10th anniversary by awarding this year’s $10,000 grant to Casa Esperanza, one of the only bilingual and bicultural substance abuse and mental health treatment centers in Massachusetts. Casa Esperanza offers residential programs, outpatient services, housing support, recovery coaching, education and employment counseling, and stabilization services.

“Over the years, I have constantly challenged students to aim higher,” said Riccio, Khaled and Olfat Juffali Director of the Social Impact Lab. “Today, I no longer think of my course as an introduction to nonprofit management, but as an opportunity to engage students in complex problem solving through systems thinking and ethical reasoning.”

NS4Gers award grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that address critical economic and social challenges facing the Boston neighborhoods of Mission Hill, Fenway, Roxbury, and the South End. The program has influenced the practice of experiential philanthropy across the U.S. and around the world.

Allegra Mangione, a 2018 graduate of the Human Services Program, kicked off the awards ceremony by explaining her role as the co-educator and service-learning TA for Riccio’s course, “The Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy, and Social Change.” Mangione said she gained insight into the mechanics behind experiential philanthropy education as she coordinated application intake and site visits and helped to facilitate the students’ decision-making process.

To read the full article visit the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs website.

To learn more about NS4G, visit the Social Impact Lab website.

More Stories

Northeastern News – Are bans on homeless encampments, sleeping outside ‘cruel and unusual’? Policy experts discuss Supreme Court case

Cover of the book Introduction to Human Services and Social Change

Introduction to Human Services and Social Change: History, Practice, and Policy

Northeastern logo

Rebecca Riccio Honored with 2024 John Portz Faculty Excellence Award

Faculty Stories