Press Release

Philanthropy Students Donate to Palestinian Tech Accelerator

Anera + Philanthropy Lab logosJuly 5, 2022 | Washington, DC — Anera is honored to announce that $13,000 has been awarded to the PLUS program by the students of the Philanthropy Lab class at the University of Texas at Austin. Students in the innovative class analyze the effectiveness of nonprofit initiatives and award donations to the most impactful programs.

Pamela A. Paxton, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, teaches the course on philanthropy and nonprofits that partnered with the Philanthropy Lab. She says,

“When the opportunity arose for the University of Texas to teach a class on philanthropy, I jumped at the chance. There are hundreds of business and economics classes on how to make money, but only one class about how to give it away.”

Paxton noticed that the study of philanthropy is missing from the civic engagement curriculum at undergraduate schools in the United States. She aims to ignite student interest and participation in philanthropic efforts by identifying effective nonprofits that will make good use of donations.

Each class receives $50,000 to distribute to nonprofit organizations following the class’s intense evaluation process. One group of students found PLUS (People Leveling Up Skills), Anera’s career accelerator program designed to address the high unemployment rates facing young Palestinians by teaching students interview skills, how to use sites like LinkedIn, and technical skills needed for the IT sector.

With an unemployment rate over four times the global average, University of Texas rising junior Madeline Roth says, “In all, the PLUS program proved itself a great tool in helping solve the unemployment crisis in our evaluative process.”

Anera’s philosophy of finding practical solutions to regional problems appealed to the University of Texas Philanthropy Lab students struggling to evaluate large nonprofits with large overhead costs.

Roth says,

“All of Anera’s programming is community centered, and after talking with the Anera team, professionalism radiates in their responsiveness and integrity. The goal of providing non-formal education in the Levant Region illuminated Anera’s dedication to creating proven effective programing through a community-centered approach.”

Roth took this class to learn more about what made a nonprofit effective. When asked about a future career with nonprofits, she says that “regardless of your career path, there are various opportunities and methods to being a philanthropist. I value this understanding tremendously, and I know that regardless of my future, I will always be working in or with the nonprofit sector.”

Ally Schultz, Anera’s development assistant, says,

“We’re thrilled, not only to receive this support for addressing youth unemployment in Palestine, but also to get this vote of confidence in the effectiveness of this initiative.”


For more information:

Steven Fake
Media Relations Officer
[email protected]

About Anera
Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.