Imagine you’ve unexpectedly received a hefty inheritance. (Congratulations!) Determined to spread the wealth, you plan to donate $50,000 to a good cause. But how do you choose which cause to support?

Students in “Social Justice Through Philanthropy,” a spring quarter seminar course, faced this question after receiving $50,000 to distribute to philanthropic organizations. The money was provided by The Philanthropy Lab, a nonprofit that partners with colleges and universities to spark and expand students’ interest in philanthropy.

To solicit grant proposals, [Stephen Meyers, assistant professor of LSJ and international studies and core faculty in disability studies, who taught the course] reached out to Global Washington (GlobalWA), a network of international non-governmental organizations, foundations, and academic institutions based in Washington state. Choosing from ten issues that GlobalWA member organizations address, the students chose five as their focus: human rights, the refugee crisis, global health, food security, and education. The 25 students split into five teams, each assigned to research one of the issues and create a policy brief and in-class presentation summarizing what they learned. They continued as issue experts when grant proposals arrived from GlobalWA member organizations.

Read more about global giving at University of Washington by Nancy Joseph.

The GlobalWA member recipients of the 2019 grants were announced on March 20. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Remote Energy  each received grants of $8,000; Splash and World Relief Seattle received grants for $15,500; and Schools for Salone was awarded the largest grant of $35,000.

Here's a look at last year's winners.