Student Philanthropy Week shines light on giving back, building community

The GVSU Beekeepers have plans to buy more beekeeper suits to give more students opportunities to work closely with the hives. Members of Delta Tau Delta will focus their efforts on a scholarship that eases the financial burden for first-generation college students.

These two student organizations are among the featured groups in a crowdfunding campaign that will run during Student Philanthropy Week, October 9-16. Hosted by University Development, the week shines a light on the importance of student organizations as a way to build community and serves to educate students on philanthropy.

people in white beekeeper suits, one person in front holding a hive
The GVSU Beekeepers want to raise funds to buy more suits, allowing more students to work closely with the hives.

Vivian Gaskin, a senior majoring in environmental and sustainability studies, is the president of GVSU Beekeepers. Members work at the Sustainable Agriculture Project to learn more about the apiary and help harvest honey to make and sell products throughout the year. 

"It would be nice to be able to purchase more equipment to give more people an opportunity to help during the honey harvest," Gaskin said.

Jeffery Timm is Delta Tau Delta's philanthropy and community service chair. The sophomore, who is majoring in legal studies, said his passion for community service has carried over from high school.

group of people holding big check with white tents in background, most people in light blue shirts
Delta Tau Delta raised more than $90,000 in September for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Next week, members will raise funds to support a scholarship for first-generation students.

Delta Tau Delta, with only 10 active members, raised more than $90,000 in September for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is the national fraternity's philanthropic partner. Timm said he is excited to see what happens for the chapter next week as they raise money for the Blinkhorn-Donk First Generation Scholars Endowed Scholarship.

"I'm a first-generation student, as are several other fraternity members," Timm said. "We want to help others in the same position; we know how hard it is to find the money to go to college."

During Student Philanthropy Week, campus community members can choose to support one of the featured organizations (GVSU Beekeepers, Delta Tau Delta, Rowing Club, Bowling Club) or choose another student organization or club sport. 

The featured organizations have a chance to win extra cash prizes supported by Grand Valley donors during next week’s events like the Cash Cart and Scavenger Hunt. They can also host their own fundraising events, like Delta Tau Delta's "Pelt a Delt," to raise money for their designated fund.

Laura Aikens, vice president for University Development, said the spirited competition among student organizations will foster community and provide networking opportunities with alumni and campus leaders. 

"Grand Valley students are innovative and care about their community," Aikens said. "During Student Philanthropy Week, we hope to help shape how they think about giving back, and I can’t wait to see all the ways they find to creatively contribute both on campus and for the rest of their lives."

Learn more about Student Philanthropy Week and make a donation to a student organization online at

image for Student Philanthropy Week at GVSU shows white arch on blue background with heart around arch
Student Philanthropy Week will run October 9-16.