Students Award $30,000 in Grant Money to Local Nonprofits

December 7, 2016

A group of UT students awarded $30,000 among 14 area nonprofits at 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 29 at the Haslam College of Business.

The presentation, as well as the process of choosing which nonprofits would receive funds, was part of Alex Miller’s nonprofit management class. Miller is the William B. Stokely Chair in Management and director of the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

Alex Miller and students from his Nonprofit Leadership course

Miller described the course as an opportunity for students to learn through service and experience.

“They very much thought of the funds as their money, which was great,” Miller said. “They struggled in distributing it because they had to weigh their own values against practical considerations about how the money could be spent to have the most impact.”

The nonprofit organizations being awarded the grant money formed four teams to pursue joint initiatives.

The Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Childhelp Children’s Center of East Tennessee received $9,000 to support awareness and education about human trafficking.

The Knoxville Leadership Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East Tennessee, the Joy of Music School, and Amachi Knoxville received $8,000 to strengthen collaboration by sharing program designs, strategies, outcomes, strengths, and challenges, as well as attending conferences together and standardizing screening processes across organizations.

Volunteer Ministry Center, Compassion Coalition, the Salvation Army, the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, and the Benevolence Team of Church Street United Methodist Church received $7,500 to provide utility assistance to households in need and mitigate homelessness.

Friends of Literacy, the Great Schools Partnership, United Way of Greater Knoxville, and UT was awarded $5,500 to expand educational offerings for citizens who lack a high school diploma or equivalent.

The students raised the $30,000 by securing a $10,000 grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation, established by Doris Buffet, sister of Warren Buffet. Jim Haslam and Jim Clayton each matched that grant money with $10,000 gifts. Haslam, Clayton and Ellie Mudge, executive director of the Learning by Giving Foundation, attended the check presentation.