UT Students to Distribute $30,000 to Local Non-Profits

March 29, 2016

Students within the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will grant $30,000 to local charities this fall as part of a nonprofit management class.

Jim Haslam (’52, ’76) and Jim Clayton (’62, ’64) each matched a $10,000 grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation to fund the class. Doris Buffet, sister of Warren Buffet, created the foundation to enable classes where students learn about nonprofit impact and management by conducting a grant proposal process.

“We are excited to have the University of Tennessee join our community of philanthropy educators,” said Ellie Mudge, executive director of the Learning by Giving Foundation. “We are also thrilled that two other funders see the value in experiential learning by providing additional grant dollars for the students to distribute.”

Alex Miller, the management professor conducting the class, says Haslam was quick to respond and notify Clayton because the class fits so closely with the philosophy he espouses to students.

“There are three stages of your life: the learning stage, the earning stage and the returning stage,” said Haslam. “You never stop learning, and you need to start returning at an early age, whether it is in time, talent or money.”

Miller invites area nonprofits to submit grant proposals this summer for collaborative projects that need a financial boost. Students will determine the specific grant requirements during the course this fall but they will be loosely based on the United Way’s three focus areas. The class will spend the semester reviewing proposals, interviewing administrators at the nonprofits and determining the best investment for efficient use and impact of the funds.

“With this terrific opportunity students will learn how to be more insightful philanthropic managers,” said Clayton. “It’s an opportunity to learn how to maximize the return on investment – for the benefit of communities served. Yes, I am pleased to be a small part of this exciting initiative.”

The course also will include a series of case studies on real non-profits, placing students in a situation that actually occurred with the expectation of finding real-world solutions. Nonprofit leaders and philanthropists will attend classes as guest speakers.

To find out more about the Learning by Giving Foundation and its model, visit http://www.learningbygivingfoundation.org.

For more information about the class or the proposal process, e-mail amiller2@utk.edu.