Once Upon a Time

National Forum OUAT checkIn August of 2011, the National Forum was approached by the Once Upon a Time Foundation from Fort Worth, Texas about an incredible opportunity.  The organization expressed interest in giving real-world philanthropic experience to the students of Dr. John Burkhardt’s, Philanthropy and Higher Education graduate course.

The Once Upon a Time Foundation believes offering courses in philanthropy “is a great way to to educate young people on the merits of charitable giving and how it works, as well as force them to think about how how difficult the choices are in how to give money when there are so many needy organizations.”  Through this vision, the Once Upon a Time Foundation has contributed $50,000 in the fall of 2011 and $100,000 in the fall 2012 for the class to collectively give to non-profit organizations as the students gain firsthand insights into philanthropy and the progress of giving money.

The students in the course begin their process by developing a mission statement and a set of funding criteria to guide themselves.  They then identify potential grantees that fit these parameters, issue “requests for proposals”, evaluate them, rank them and eventually make awards based on their deliberations.  The students’ course experience concludes with the opportunity to inform the selected organizations that they will be receiving grants from the class.  

Below is the list of grantees by academic year:




To read about the students’ experiences with this project, visit our blog.