• IES 103 class group picture with Alisa
  • IES 103 group picture with Alisa
  • IES 103 group picture with Alisa
Panther Experiential Philanthropy Project

» Panther Experiential Philanthropy Project (PEPP)

The Panther Experiential Philanthropy Project (PEPP) is an innovative new program at Chapman University aiming to connect students to community problems, needs, and local solutions. By providing classes grants of up to $2,000, students become grant makers, funding nonprofit organizations addressing challenges aligned with the course’s learning outcomes.

Experiential philanthropy is still emergent and Chapman is one of only a few universities in Southern California engaging in this work. Initial experiential philanthropy research suggests that participants express an increased sense of responsibility to their community, a deeper understanding of local issues, and a higher level of desire to participate in charitable endeavors both through philanthropy and volunteering.

PEPP offers a unique, proactive opportunity to address some of the most urgent issues facing Orange County communities and nonprofits. We believe that when teaching young people about giving back, the possibilities are limitless and anything is imaginable.



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Program Goals

PEPP has six program goals, or student participant learning outcomes. These are holistic in nature and serve to address the individuality of the student, prepare them for the workplace, and promote active civic and community engagement.

  1. Promote a “Learn by Giving” Approach: By giving, or engaging in philanthropy, through course programming students are developing tools that cannot, and should not, be learned in the classroom alone.
  2. Foster Meaningful Community Engagement: By actively participating in PEPP, students will learn what community organizations are working to solve social problems and will be encouraged to take action in surrounding causes that are important to them beyond the PEPP experience.
  3. Encourage Transferable Skill Development: PEPP courses allow students to develop and utilize skills that are important in many of today’s jobs and volunteer opportunities, such as critical thinking skills and persuasive communication strategies.
  4. Build a Pipeline of Next-Gen Donors: Through PEPP, we aim to inspire students to give financially, at any level, as soon as they are able and throughout their lifetimes.
  5. Increase Awareness of Social Issues: By researching local nonprofit organizations and talking with their knowledgeable staff, students develop a deeper awareness of the sorts of issues people are addressing every day in our neighborhoods.
  6. Grow Professional Networks: Leveraging connections with community members and nonprofit organization staff who they may not have encountered otherwise could lead to future employment or volunteer options—including working in the nonprofit and community-based sectors.