Dec 09 2011


School of Business Administration students taking the Individual and Corporate Philanthropy class at The University of Montana recently dispersed grant funds totaling $10,000 to Missoula nonprofits serving needs related to youth, disabilities and animals.

The students issued a request for proposals in October and received 27 submissions from local nonprofits. With only $10,000 to award, the students implemented a rigorous in-class review and scoring process to determine which projects to fund.

In the end, four Missoula nonprofit organizations received funding. The Humane Society of Western Montana received $2,517 for its spay and neuter program. The Girls Way Inc. received $2,118 for its Summer Sustainability and Outdoor Adventure project. The Missoula Children’s Theatre received $2,247 to maximize the theater experience for hearing-impaired patrons with assisted listening devices. The Missoula Food Bank received $3,118 for its Kids Table take out program.

The Individual and Corporate Philanthropy class gives students the opportunity to learn firsthand about the relationship between nonprofit and for-profit organizations, individual and corporate philanthropy and to take part in a philanthropic experience funded by the Learning by Giving Foundation.

With a generous grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation, students are able to learn about the importance and practice of philanthropy by evaluating proposals and awarding grants. Doris Buffett, sister of Warren Buffett, is the benefactor of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, which provides the grant money for this opportunity.

Bambi Douma, a UM business professor, and Andrea Vernon, director of the University’s Office for Civic Engagement, wrote the grant to bring the Learning by Giving program to UM.

“The students brought a great deal of enthusiasm,” Vernon said. “They learned firsthand about the important role of corporate and individual philanthropy in helping our community meet and tackle its most pressing needs. The response and interest level of local nonprofits was equally impressive.”