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Grantwell was founded in 2008 at Brigham Young University to address the joint needs of community donors, graduate students, and the Romney Institute. Graduate students needed real-world experiences, community donors needed fresh advice on practical giving solutions, and the Romney Institute wanted to increase in name-recognition and positive community relationships. With a board of directors and executive team composed of students, Grantwell gives students the opportunity to be leaders in the public and social sector, and allows them to work with real nonprofits and foundations to gain valuable experience. Since Grantwell’s foundation, the program has given hundreds of students practical experience and has consulted on millions of dollars worth of grant allocation.

Grantwell is a student-run, faculty-advised consulting program. Through Grantwell, graduate students advise large donors in various aspects of their giving. The program gives students a chance to apply the non-profit management expertise they learn in the classroom to real-world projects.

The heart of the Grantwell experience comes from large donors, individuals, and organizations in the community. These clients set aside grant making research, evaluation, or strategy projects for the student teams to undertake. Internally, students work in a mode similar to a foundation with a small staff, including executive staff, program officers and assistants, and a board of directors. Externally, students work in a consultative role, delivering thoroughly professional results and recommendations to the donor clients.