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A group of BYU students are using their classroom skills on real-world projects to make an impact in the community.

Grantwell is a graduate student-led organization which advises nonprofits and foundations on how they should donate their funds.

The organization gives students the opportunity to be leaders in the public and social sector by allowing them to work with real non-profits and foundations to gain valuable experience.

Kathleen Nugent, the executive director of the program, explained the goal is to allow students to have opportunities which will shape their career as well as help professionals find solutions for their organizations.

“We are helping students have a great experience in learning how philanthropic work can be done well. And that’s our tagline we want to help organizations and students guide, give and grow,” said Nugent.

The program first started in 2008 and is the only program of its kind in the country.

In the past 10 years, Grantwell has helped over 300 students give over 30 organizations 35 million dollars in directed giving.

Project descriptions range from grant allocations, to consulting on program development, to evaluating data on how well organizations are achieving desired results.

Previous project sponsors have been the Community Foundation of Utah, Be A Philanthropist and the Noorda foundation which is currently building a theater on UVU campus.

Julius Ha, who is currently working on a project with the Noorda Foundation, shared some insight on the work his team has been doing this semester.

“We have done so far are to conduct some research on organizations initiatives in Utah that are promising that are innovative and we are in the process of compiling the research we have found, and compiling it into a white paper for the Noorda foundation to review at the end of the semester,” said Ha.

Erin Ram, a Grantwell student, said along with gaining professional skills, giving back has been one of the biggest highlights of this experience.

“We are learning from amazing people and gaining skills from one another. We are also part of a group who really helps to give back to the community and making high level contacts in foundations and it could be a really great career-launcher and provide that feeling of fulfillment of having given back while a student,” said Ram.

To learn more about Grantwell and their projects, you can visit their website at grantwell.org.

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