UM Philanthropy Class Awards $10,000 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

December 15, 2015

MISSOULA – A University of Montana class will hold a ceremony at 9:10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, in the Davidson Honors College Ephron Student Lounge to award $10,000 to local nonprofits.

The class, Engaging Social Responsibility through Philanthropy, which is part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, awards grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and address issues related to the environment or health. Sixteen Missoula nonprofit organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester. 

This semester’s grantees are:

  • Native Generational Change: $3,775 to fund the Mentorship Program.
  • Garden City Harvest: $3,775 to support the Youth Farm Program.
  • Youth Homes: $2,450 to fund InnerRoads Wilderness Program.

Engaging Social Responsibility through Philanthropy addresses social responsibility and community building through work in the nonprofit sector. Students spent the semester learning about the general influence philanthropy has on social improvement, researching nonprofit work and specific community needs in Missoula County, and completing a service-learning project.

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. The foundation promotes undergraduate study of philanthropy at colleges and universities nationwide.

“This class immerses students in the Missoula community and allows them to not only study various challenges we face, but to begin to think about creative ways philanthropy can be part of the solution,” Vernon said. “The students learn so much by actively engaging in the learning experience and connecting with the community.”

The Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year program open to UM students of all majors. Through the GLI program students participate in thought-provoking seminars, become involved in internships and community work, have the opportunity to 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,