College students are often open to donating their time to a charity to help make a difference for a few hours a week, but rarely have the resources available to make a long-term financial impact. But the students enrolled in the Nature of Giving class at TCU are able to do just that. Having $100,000, donated by several local philanthropists and starting with more than 100 local nonprofit organizations the students are charged with researching nonprofit organizations, visiting and conducting interviews, developing proposals, and finally arguing the merits of each charity. By the end of the semester a handful of agencies are chosen and money is donated to cover the cost of a particular need. This spring Educational First Steps was one of five finalists and received the largest gift of $28,800 which covers the cost of mentoring, training and materials for one partner child care center for one year.
The class was the first of its kind in the country, but TCU and Fort Worth based Once Upon a Time Foundation wanted more students to experience the process. Now similar classes are taking place in 13 universities, including The University of Texas, Stanford and Harvard. This summer TCU will send two delegates to a national conference sponsored by The Philanthropy Lab. At this conference each of the universities represented will choose one organization and four of those will be chosen to receive an additional $25,000 each. TCU has chosen Educational First Steps and will argue our merits at the conference held later this month. We are so thrilled to be part of such an exciting endeavor with TCU and Once Upon a Time Foundation!