Support Hands-On Philanthropy Education
"There are many courses at The University of Texas that teach students how to make money. The Philanthropy Lab: Power of Giving is the first course that teaches students to donate money responsibly."
What is the Philanthropy Lab: Power of Giving?
The "Power of Giving” is a course at the University of Texas that cultivates students’ data-driven philanthropy skills by giving them an opportunity to choose two to six nonprofits to receive a collective donation. In prior years, students have chosen to donate to organizations with missions focused on education, health, water sanitation and more - both in the United States and abroad.
How will you use my donation?
Your donation will go directly to educate students in The Philanthropy Lab. Students in class, with the guidance of Professor Paxton, will decide which nonprofits will most effectively use the money raised. Students will ensure that all money collected will be given to organizations that make a measurable impact on the world.
Why is my personal contribution important?
A gift to the Philanthropy Lab is both a powerful gift to charity and a gift to the legacy of the University of Texas as an initiator of philanthropy education. The philosophy and practice of responsible giving has been largely ignored in academia and the University of Texas seeks to change that - giving is not as easy as it sounds. So your contributions come together to make a collective impact on vetted charitable causes and the next generation of change-makers.
Your gift is so important because each dollar given (up to $15,000) will be matched by one of our generous donors.
What criteria do Power of Giving students use to determine which nonprofits to donate to?
Students look at a nonprofit’s reputation, transparency, financial documents, and the impact that the donation can make within the charity.
Reputation: critical when making the choice of whether or not to donate. Students research personnel and the board of directors associated with the charity and make sure that the organization is following ethical guidelines
Transparency: students look at the transparency of the charity by researching the accessibility of reports and financial documents. If a charity is transparent with their donors, they are usually publishing reports and financial documents online, updating their website and social media accounts, and providing explanations for any discrepancies.
Financial Documents: students learn to analyze the IRS Form 990, a form detailing annual financial activities and accomplishments. They also learn to look for trends and red flags in revenue and spending.
Overall Impact: Students look at the real world application of your donation and analyze whether or not it will make an impact that supports the charity’s mission.
Our school prides itself on our motto- “What Starts Here Changes the World” - so students make sure that our donation will change lives.
What types of nonprofits have donations gone to in the past?
Your donations ultimately go to various organizations, both national and international. Last year, your money helped fund the building of a new school, research cures for disease, relief supplies, the building of a new well, and more.
Last year’s charities were: Any Baby Can, Charity Water, Mercy Ships, MS Society, Pencils of Promise, and Project Cure. The Philanthropy Lab has been in operation since 2012, and has been using your fundraising dollars to give to causes that are reputable and transparent.
As you can see, the list above is intentionally diverse, and a lot of work goes into choosing the charities that receive your money.
The University of Texas Philanthropy Lab Mission:
The University of Texas Philanthropy Lab educates future philanthropists to ensure that all charitable gifts are donated to organizations that make a measurable impact on our society and the world.
The University of Texas Philanthropy Lab Vision:
The University of Texas Power of Giving course envisions a society that values the importance of philanthropy and philanthropy education in order to elevate the impact of every dollar donated to charitable causes.