Honors Students Successfully Compete at The Philanthropy Lab National Conference

July 17, 2017

Honors students Bailey Snyder, a senior political science major and French minor, and Madeline McBride, a junior nursing major and business minor, represented TCU and the Honors College at the national conference for The Philanthropy Lab in June. The Philanthropy Lab strives to ignite college students’ interest and participation in philanthropy by providing real money to nonprofit organizations through full-credit undergraduate courses. Snyder and McBride’s participation with The Philanthropy Lab originated in Dr. Ron Pitcock’s Nature of Giving class, where students spent the semester studying over 100 nonprofits and working as a foundation responsible for distributing $100,000 to no more than six nonprofits. On the last night of debate, the class chose five nonprofits to fund after eleven straight hours of debate.

Snyder and McBride chose to work with Touch a Life, a nonprofit with a base in Irving that works primarily in Ghana. Touch a Life received $20,000 from the Nature of Giving spring 2017 course to fund the education of students rescued from human trafficking and slavery on Lake Volta. At the national conference, Snyder and McBride joined student representatives from every university that taught philanthropy-based courses through The Philanthropy Lab during the 2016-2017 academic year. Over the course of two days, students at the national conference presented a nonprofit funded by their class and then argued for the nonprofit in an assigned room, with the ultimate goal of securing additional funding for their nonprofit.

Representing TCU and Touch a Life, Snyder and McBride worked alongside representatives of Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and U of Wisconsin-Madison. After two days of intense and effective argumentation, debate, and analysis, Synder and McBrides’ peers and competitors awarded Touch a Life an additional $25,000. Dr. Pitcock notes that while he is thrilled for Touch a Life, he continues to be “impressed with Bailey [Snyder] and Madeline [McBride] for making a case that balanced the intellectual and the emotional and holding up under the intense pressure of being questioned for two days.” Dr. Pitcock also notes that Snyder and McBride’s success is a testament to their “clarity and detail of preparation, debate skills, ability to counter both philosophical and economical inquiry, and overall effectiveness.”

Snyder gives credit for their success at the national conference to Dr. Pitcock and the Nature of Giving class, which “gave us forums to debate and respond to tough questions which forced us to be winsome and well versed in the structure, mission, and finances of the organizations. These skills were pivotal for the ambassadors conference.” McBride similarly acknowledges the impact of the Nature of Giving class: “Coming into the class, I think that I was somewhat skeptical about the power of giving money away […] Dr. Pitcock pushed us all semester though to have a much deeper understanding of what giving can do […] impactful gifts take incredible amounts of due diligence and a knowledge of the organization you are giving to that encompasses mission, impact, the leadership and board of directors, financial information, etc. Giving can do so much good, but only when you put in the work.”

Clearly, Snyder and McBride put in the hard work of advocating for Touch a Life. The Honors College commends Snyder and McBride on an outstanding job representing TCU and Honors and working on behalf of Touch a Life. This is the second year in a row that TCU students secured the additional funding for a nonprofit at the national conference. In 2015-2016, Maddie Reddick and Blair Guilfiolle secured $25,000 extra funding for Educational First Steps.




John V. Roach Honors College
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John V. Roach Honors College
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