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TMSAtalks Session: Philanthropic Values and Leadership Skills

TMSAtalks continued in December with lectures on philanthropic values


On Dec 5, 2016, TMSAtalks invited Duke University speakers, Barbara Collins and Anita Punj, to talk to our high schoolers about philanthropic values and leadership skills.

Barbara Collins has been with Duke University for 16 years and directs the Department of Special Initiatives at Duke, which is focused on Duke's interdisciplinary efforts including strategic planning, organizational development, and raising funds from all sources – alumni, friends of Duke, community members, foundations and corporate sponsorships.

Anita Punj has been working at Duke University for the last 2 ½ years. She has previously worked with Duke Hospital. She has been with several non-profit organizations in various capacities for many years and is involved in a number of cultural and non-profit initiatives in the Triangle area.

Key Points from the presentation:

Barbara spoke on Philanthropic Values and why they are important.

  • Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, and it is expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
  • A philanthropist is anyone who seeks to promote the welfare of others. Anyone can be a Philanthropist: a factory worker, an industrialist, a businessman, a store manager and even a student.
  • Philanthropists are generally focused on helping their own community, and can help by donating large amounts of money, as well as a lot of their personal time.
  • A few common causes that receive many donations are food banks, Habitats for Humanity, medical care, education, and animal shelters.
  • We need philanthropists in society to donate more funds, and have more people working towards the same goal. This makes the work gets done a lot faster!

Anita spoke about the importance of students getting involved in the local community through volunteering and learning leadership skills in the process.

  • She gave an example of a group of young student philanthropists including kids of all ages. They have come together to raise and donate funds for causes that are centered on children. This group is called Dedicated to Our Community of North Carolina, or DOC NC.
  • The group includes 60+ kids from Duke, UNC, NC state, Harvard and TMSA and has donated over $40,000 in the last 6 years to multiple organizations including Duke Children’s Hospital, St Judes Children’s Hospital, UNC Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish Foundation, Food Bank of NC, Morrisville Police Department and Fire Department and Special Olympics of NC. This year they have gone international and are supporting a Blind Girls school in India.
  • She said that giving back to the community is very important because we are a part of this community, and when we give back, it feels good to make other people's lives better.
  • Students learn to ask for donations by planning small community events such as walk-a-thons, car washes, raffles, luncheons, musical talent nights and garage sales.
  • Students learn to speak in front of others, come together as a group for a common cause and learn to pick up responsibilities. They coordinate with their peers, learn public speaking and sales techniques while trying to convince others to donate funds.
  • She also shared the impact such fundraisers make to the local community. They get recognized for taking initiative on several tasks leading up to a larger final event each year.
  • The students are also establishing relationships in the community  with town mayors and local Police & Fire Departments through this initiative.
  • To find more about student volunteering opportunities at DOC NC you can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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