Skip to main content

Students in UT’s Haslam College of Business will grant $30,000 to local charities this fall as part of a management class in leadership for nonprofits and social entrepreneurship.

Alex MillerUT alumni Jim Haslam and Jim Clayton 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 provide a platform for students to become thoughtful and effective givers by making real-dollar grants to local nonprofits.

“We are excited to have the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 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, William B. Stokely Chair in Management, who is leading the class, said Haslam was quick to respond and recruit Clayton to participate because the class fits so closely with his philanthropic philosophy.

“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. During the course this fall, students will determine the specific grant requirements, which will be loosely based on the United Way’s three focus areas—education, income, and health.

Miller’s 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. I am pleased to be a small part of this exciting initiative.”

The course also will include a series of case studies on nonprofits, placing students in a situation that actually occurred with the expectation of finding real-world solutions. Nonprofit leaders and philanthropists will speak to the class throughout the semester.

The 3-credit course is open to graduate students and undergraduates junior year and above. There are no prerequisite requirements and it is open to all majors. Classes will be held Tuesdays from 5:05 to 7:45 p.m.

For more information about the class or the proposal process, e-mail Miller at



Katie Bahr (865-974-3589,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,