This assignment will help you to examine a specific social issue in both a local and national context and explore the traditions of philanthropy in contemporary responses to social problems. By doing this you’ll meet the course objectives to interpret the purposes and roles of philanthropy with attention toward social justice and create an in-depth description of how philanthropy responds to a social issue.
Choose a social issue that interests you. This may be hunger, poverty, homelessness, crime, domestic violence, climate change, animal welfare, substance abuse, human trafficking, or others that are not listed here. You may also look at groups affected by these issues, for instance, focusing on homelessness among teenagers or Mental health issues for veterans.
Research the issue, paying particular attention to these guiding questions:
What is the nature of the problem in your local (Indianapolis, Indiana, US) context? The national context? How pervasive is the problem?
Who or what does the social issue affect locally? How many are affected locally?
What is the impact of the social issue within the local community?
What factors cause, expand, or intensify the social issue?
What is the local role of philanthropy in responding to the social issue? What are some nonprofits working on the issue in your community? What are they doing to help? How might readers of your brief help?
Use this information to create a briefing document. A brief/executive summary is a concise summary of facts and context related to a particular social issue intended to inform and suggest recommendations for action. Here are sample assignments to look at.
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