Ashley Adair ’17 credits the Strategic Philanthropy course for informing her personal understanding of giving and solidifying her career path in non-profits. The class now serves as a template for her role as Friendswood ISD (FISD) Education Foundation’s executive director.

The FISD Education Foundation awards more than $230,000 in grants to FISD teachers who are designing innovative and engaging learning opportunities. Adair’s Strategic Philanthropy experience served as a model to restructure the foundation’s Mustang Association campaign. Now FISD students serve as decision-makers in allocating the campaign’s funds at their school. This restructuring led to the campaign’s recognition as the 2020 Texas Education Foundation Network’s Outstanding Achievement Award winner.

Gammenthaler’s class opened Adair’s eyes to funding challenges facing non-profits. “My greatest discovery was that philanthropic decisions often aren’t a matter of choosing between right and wrong,” she said. “They are a matter of choosing between right and right. For me, Strategic Philanthropy was so much more than just a class; it was a defining moment that continues to transform my life.








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