Students in McMaster’s 2016 Strategic Philanthropy and Leadership class.

Commerce 4MG3 Strategic Philanthropy and Leadership is a fourth-year course offered by the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, taught by Professor Lynn Fergusson. It may be applied towards a minor in Sustainability. This course provides students across faculties with the opportunity to learn about the philanthropic sector in Canada through the hands-on process of granting a total of $10,000 to one or more local charities. Seeded by a gift from the Learning by Giving Foundation (LGF), this course is designed to explore core aspects of the philanthropic and charitable sector. Students design a Request for Proposals (RFP), screen applications, and award the grant money to eligible charities that serve the greater Hamilton Area. This assignment provides the framework and opportunity for full immersion in leading practices of philanthropy, the charitable sector, nonprofit governance, charitable tax issues, foundation structures, community building, social impact and social innovation. Additionally, it is an opportunity for McMaster students to engage with, and give back, to the Hamilton community.

For more information about this year’s class, feel free to check out our current student blog, written by our class ambassador, Monika Pobiedzinski.

For student testimonials, and some insight about what the process looks like from a student perspective, check out last year’s student blog.

The Fall 2017 Class has just released its Request for Proposals, with applications due Nov 6th at 4 pm. The grant focus is on organizations whose core function serves youth from low-income backgrounds in various stages of their lives. Within this, an organization may take on a narrower focus, such as food security or youth with disabilities. Additionally, preference will be given towards organizations that are new and/or demonstrate innovative practices or ideas.

Questions? Please contact our class TA, Matthew Parliament at

Thank you for being a part of our learning experience.

Request for Proposals   Application for Grant

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