University of Findlay alumna Taylor Brubaker has been selected to receive the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northwest Ohio Chapter. Awards will be given at the group’s 31st Annual national Philanthropy Day event scheduled for Nov. 14.
Brubaker, who graduated this year, earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy while serving as president of UF’s Student Development Officers and leading the Graduating Class Philanthropy Honor Cord Program committee.
“Northwest Ohio has a long history of charitable giving. Many of our community’s best cultural, educational and health care resources were established by philanthropists,” said John Lechman, CFRE, president of AFP-NWO Chapter in a press release. “Their legacy lives on with the individuals, families and organizations of today who make great things possible in our community through their generosity.”
Brubaker was one of 21 nominees for the chapter’s eight different philanthropy awards.
During her six-year academic career at UF, Brubaker, of Mount Gilead, Ohio, was recognized as a core leader on campus. As a student development officer, she was an ambassador for the University at many donor events while promoting and educating alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty and staff through multiple channels.
Brubaker’s greatest impact was through her service with the philanthropy honor cord program, which embodies UF’s core values. Begun midway through the 2015-2016 academic year, the program is designed to enhance the previously existing graduating class gift program. It includes financial, educational and service components that, if completed, enable students to wear a green philanthropy cord during commencement. Donations made by participating students create a $2,500 Findlay Forward Scholarship that is awarded to an incoming freshman the following academic year. Brubaker was instrumental in helping to launch this program. She led its executive committee, hosted and planned several educational sessions for participants, tracked components for each student in the senior class, created personalized follow-up messages for each eligible student, and coordinated the creation of new initiatives that have helped the program grow.
Since the philanthropy cord program’s launch, UF has seen a 60 percent increase in dollars raised by the senior class, a 31 percent increase in the number of senior donors, and a 27 percent increase in the number of seniors earning the cord. Also, the number of service hours completed (just over 3,000 this year), by the senior class increased by more than 200 percent. Thanks to the work of Brubaker and others, UF students are increasingly engaging in service-oriented volunteerism and giving-related activities.
As a recent graduate, Brubaker will remain active on the Graduating Class Philanthropy Honor Cord Program committee, serving as the Generation Orange (UF’s affinity group dedicated to graduates age 35 and younger) liaison committee. This is a new role that will encourage young graduates to apply the lessons learned in the program as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
A previous recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northwest Ohio chapter’s Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award was Dallas Smith, who received the honor in 2016. Smith graduated in 2017 with a Doctor of Pharmacy.