Who would you donate your money to if you were a philanthropist? More than 70 Pitt students have had a chance to answer that question—and donate real money—through the Student Philanthropy Project in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. During the spring semester, the students served as grantmakers, determining how best to invest $9,000 in local nonprofit organizations. The money was supplied by the school and a Pitt donor.
Students formed review boards, developed requests for proposals, and set criteria for the evaluation of groups that were seeking funding. Ten regional organizations—including programs that serve the homeless, mentor youth, and improve urban neighborhoods—are now using the money distributed by the student-philanthropists to improve the lives of Western Pennsylvanians.