Prince Sultan University (PSU) launched Saudi Arabia’s first experiential philanthropy course in partnership with Mr Khaled Juffali and Mrs Olfat Almutlaq, the King Khalid Foundation, and Northeastern University. The course will enable students to experience the power of philanthropy by making grants to charitable organizations in Riyadh.
Experiential philanthropy education integrates authentic grant making into an academic course to enhance students’ understanding of the history, role, and effective practice of philanthropy in their society and the qualities of successful nonprofit and charitable organizations.  By giving students responsibility for a decision that will have real world consequences in their community, experiential philanthropy courses nurture their sense of civic responsibility and commitment to charitable giving and volunteerism over the course of their lifetime. EPE models vary between universities, but students are typically entrusted with a fixed sum of money- often thousands of dollars- to award to one non-profit organizations through a group-based decision- making process. The winning organization will be granted a total sum of $20,000 ($10,000 from Juffali’s + $10,000 from KKF).

1. To introduce students to the role of philanthropy and non-profit organizations in Saudi society and
2. To demonstrate their relationships to corporate social responsibility in order to
3. To promote effective giving and civic engagement by individuals and business. 

Grant giving process
I. Selecting a Funding Priority: What issue must applicants be working on?
II. Defining the Pool of potential Grantees: Who can apply?
III. Site visit: Proposal.
IV. Evaluating Proposals: How will students evaluate proposals? What due diligence must they conduct?
V. Selecting Guarantee(s): What will the final selection process include?
VI. Awarding Grant(s): How will grantees be notified? How will they receive the money?

  • Real money: EPE courses involve real money, with real consequences.
  • Competitive Process: Enough organizations must be invited to apply for their to be a legitimate competitive process, but not so many that students cannot review all their application materials.
  • Shared Curriculum: The course curriculum should create a level playing field and provide sufficient information for all students to participate as equals. The process works best when everyone has a voice.
  • Student Autonomy: The responsibility for decision making falls on the students, and their autonomy must be protected from the interests or preferences of the teacher, university, or donor. 
  • Student-developed Rubric: Students should select the criteria they will use to make their decisions and agree to a process before they begin reviewing applications. 
  • Site Visit: Whenever possible, students should visit at least the highest ranked organizations they are considering in order to see firsthand the qualities that cannot be conveyed on paper.  
  • Consensus: to the fullest extent possible, decision making should be managed through consensus, rather than voting, to avoid students becoming entrenched in positions simply to “win” rather than remaining open-minded and willing to learn from others perspective.  
  • Personal Reflection: Many students will be challenged by the new intellectual, social, ethical, interpersonal, and practical dilemmas they face in an EPE course. Writing personal reflection essays can be a constructive way for them to articulate and grapple with these dilemmas, and for the instructor to gauge how the course is going.  
  • Award Ceremony: Many courses end with a celebratory event where the grants are awarded, often with members of the university faculty or administration. This ceremony is a celebration of the students and the grantees accomplishments, as well as an opportunity to showcase the EPE program and acknowledge the donor funding the course. 

For more information about this course
Course Supervisor: Dr. Yazeed M. Alfakhri 
Email: yalfakhri@psu.edu.sa​