UM Philanthropy Class Awards $12,500 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

December 09, 2014

MISSOULA – A University of Montana class titled Can Giving Change the World? granted $12,500 to local nonprofits and will hold a ceremony for them at 9:10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at in the Davidson Honors College Ephron Student Lounge. 

The class, which is part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, awards grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and combat hunger or address mental health issues. Organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester. 

This semester’s grantees are:

  • North Missoula Community Development Corporation: $3,000 to fund the Real Meals program 
  • Missoula Food Bank: $4,500 to support the Kids EmPower Pack program 
  • Poverello Center: $5,000 to fund a vehicle to improve community outreach 

Can Giving Change the World? addresses social responsibility and community building through work in the nonprofit sector. Students spent the semester learning about philanthropy’s general influence in social improvement while also researching nonprofit work and specific community needs in Missoula County.

Andrea Vernon, the director of UM’s Office for Civic Engagement, and communication studies Professor Gregory Larson secured the grant money for the class from the Learning by Giving Foundation. This year, the class received an additional grant from the PPL Montana Community Fund. 

“This class helps open students’ eyes to needs in the community and opportunities with philanthropy,” Larson said. “The students become very invested in the grant-making process.”

The Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year program open to UM students of all majors. Through this program students attend thought-provoking seminars, become involved in internships and community work, can study abroad affordably and learn skills necessary to be leaders in a global community. 

For more information call Vernon at 406-243-5159 or email


Contact: Andrea Vernon, director, UM Office for Civic Engagement, 406-243-5159,