A sample of the sorts of products that are made by the Handmade Items program at the Hospice of Central Ohio. Alina Panek/The Denisonian

AARON SKUBBY, News Editor—Every year after a long process of applications, interviews, and deliberations, Denison Venture Philanthropy makes a generous donation of $10,000 and 200 service hours to a local nonprofit. This year, DVP selected the Hospice of Central Ohio. 

The club begins the year by sending out Requests For Proposals to local nonprofits, who may propose any sort of funding they find helpful. The club spends most of the fall semester examining proposals and learning about the process of grant making. The club then narrows it down and selects a few proposals to conduct interviews with.

Important considerations for Denison Venture Philanthropy are the tangibility and sustainability of the projects. The club wants to support projects that will be long lasting.

DVP President Stella Boeckman ‘22 explained the difficulty with choosing a proposal. “The hardest part of choosing a recipient of the grant is simply the amount of amazing projects we receive every year,” she said. “I am always astounded by how many passionate people write grants aiming to improve their organization,” she continued, “There’s so many great projects and it’s hard to choose one because we end up saying no to other amazing projects in the process.” 

Denison Venture Philanthropy is able to make the donation due to the generosity of Denison Alum David Kuhns ‘68. In addition to the cash donation, the club also promises 200 hours of service. 

The Hospice of Central Ohio will use the funds primarily for its handmade items program. Volunteers sew handmade items for hospice patients such as custom gowns, hand grips, and neck pillows. The items help people in hospice with their daily life, and create a more welcoming environment. Family members can also keep the items to help them remember their loved ones.

Boeckman explained why Denison Venture Philanthropy chose the Hospice of Central Ohio. “Hospice of Central Ohio has applied in past years and continues to apply every year, which demonstrated dedication to their organization and commitment to DVP.” 

She also explained a personal connection that made her value the work done by hospice. “I lost my grandpa a little over a year ago and I remember getting the blanket he had while in Hospice. It was really impactful to be able to feel close to him even after he passed. I was encouraged to choose HOCO because I knew that the impact that they have on their patients and families make a huge difference in the experience.

Denison Venture Philanthropy has funded a wide variety of projects over the past few years.

One year, they supplied the last bit of funding for a greenhouse at a local school. Next, they helped fund supplies for the Career Technology and Educational Center such as games, dictionaries, and cameras to help immigrants learn English. 

Last year, they helped Hope Farm in Granville afford a new driveway and educational books. Hope Farm offers therapeutic horse riding to children and adults with disabilities, and the driveway and books helped make the services more accessible.

Keep an eye out for Denison Venture Philanthropy if you are interested in getting involved in the future!