Key Points

· Graduate programs in nonprofit management increasingly include philanthropic studies in their curricula. However, these programs generally focus on a grant seeker's point of view.

· This case study describes a graduate philanthropic studies course at the University of San Diego developed from a grant maker's perspective. Students partner with a local private foundation to serve as its program officers for a special initiative.

· By becoming grant makers the students experience the intellectual, emotional, and practical challenges of effective grant making. They develop grant making competencies and an appreciation for the art and science of philanthropy. The foundation benefits from increased rigor, an infusion of fresh perspective, and an expanded awareness of a region's nonprofit landscape.

· This case demonstrates that philanthropic studies is an applied science with a knowledge base that can be both drawn upon and added to, significantly improving practice in the field.

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Open Access