Erica Butler, a third-year women’s and gender studies student, discusses her role as a director for the Student Philanthropy Council.

It’s hard to believe it’s already November. The temperature’s dropping way too quickly for my liking, and the first snow has already stuck to the ground. Winter manages to catch me off guard every year, but this one seems especially quick – probably due to how busy I’ve been all semester! Between work, school, and volunteer commitments, my undergraduate life is pretty packed… But I wouldn’t trade any amount of missed sleep for the awesome connections and experiences I’ve gained by being involved in the Carleton community.

One of the most exciting commitments in my life right now is as Director of Learning and Organizational Development for the Carleton Student Philanthropy Council. In my role, I’m responsible for equipping students with the skills to turn their philanthropic passions into philanthropic action. So many of us are bursting with creative energy and commitment to the causes we care about but have no clue how to channel that! My job is awesome in that I get to design opportunities for students to develop their proficiency in areas like fundraising, event planning, and budgeting. As someone who had literally no engagement with volunteer causes a few years ago, it’s amazing to me how many valuable skills I’ve picked up just by offering up my time to the organizations that inspire me.

I know firsthand how daunting taking the first steps into the world of philanthropy can be, which is why I’m so motivated to help others work through their initial nerves and hesitation. I’m especially looking forward to the Student Philanthropy Council’s inaugural development summit, which we’ll be holding midway through winter semester. In collaboration with a wonderful programming committee, I’ll be helping to build this day-long conference from the ground up. We’re looking forward to offering Carleton students an unprecedented opportunity to develop their ability to retain and engage volunteers, effectively communicate, and navigate community resources (among lots of other fantastic workshops). It’s exciting to see just how much learning can be packed into one day!

Philanthropy has become an essential part of how I live my life. Knowing that I’m contributing in a meaningful way to sustaining and advocating for the communities that matter to me is an incomparable feeling. I really encourage anyone reading this to take a chance and find a way to get involved with the causes that matter to you. When you’re working on something you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all… But you’ll find yourself amassing a whole lot of new knowledge and skills nonetheless. Student Philanthropy Council is a great way to get informed and involved, and I sincerely hope that you’ll take the time to find out more about what we do. I can promise we’ve got lots of fantastic learning opportunities coming up over the next few months, so stay tuned!

Submitted by Erica Butler, a third-year women’s and gender studies student.

To learn more about the Student Philanthropy Council, please visit the website.


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