Business class learns about charity first-hand

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Centennial business professor Murray Davidson turned his Economics 302 class into a real-life lesson in charity when he asked his students to dig into their pockets to come up with change for Toronto’s United Way Campaign. They contributed $47 in loose change, which Davidson immediately topped up to $100 and forwarded to the college’s United Way charity drive.

“We were talking about the role of charity in the economy, and how the United Way campaign collects money efficiently and distributes the funds to other, smaller charities to help needy people,” says Davidson of his real-world lesson. “The money goes directly to these small organizations and without the administration costs some other groups incur.”

While college students aren’t normally engaged in UW fundraising, Davidson thought it would be instructive to have them contribute some pocket change, and match the funds – which is a common strategy to encourage donations. The professor also boosted contributions by offering a draw for a free lunch.

“It’s something we used to do when I worked for a company in the private sector. Incentives go a long way in getting people to participate in fundraising,” he says. It’s the third year he has done this in his economics class. Four lucky students will be joining him for lunch in the new year as his guests. And the college United Way fund is a $100 richer for it.