Strive to Thrive Lincoln has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach and $2,500 grants to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and Lincoln Literacy. The grant project is aimed at local nonprofits and initiated by students in the Leading People and Project Management course in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Business Administration.
Drew Oliver, a senior business administration major from Omaha and a student in the class, said statistical information from a study called Lincoln Vital Signs helped guide the students’ decisions to fund organizations that focused on helping the homeless.
“Helping children and homelessness were at the top of the needs list for Lincoln,” Oliver said. “As we went through the evaluation process, we looked at what organizations we could select that would make the greatest impact. The Lincoln Vital Signs information, which stressed poverty and its impact on children, kept coming back to us.”
The Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach grant funding will go toward the Homeless Identification Project, a prevention program that will assist hundreds of homeless persons each year attempting to obtain vital identification documents.
The CASA grant will allow the group to add a new volunteer training session to its 2016 schedule, preparing more volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system.
Lincoln Literacy will use its grant funds for English Language and Literacy Academy expenses related to assessment activities. The objective of the Lincoln Literacy programs is to assist people of all cultures and strengthen the community by teaching English language and literacy skills.
To be eligible for the grants, the nonprofits had to have federal 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Applicants outlined what made their organization unique, the expected reach of their project and their ability to successfully execute the project. Thirty-two nonprofits submitted proposals.
The management class let both undergraduate and graduate students get a better understanding of the philanthropic process. Students learned how to initiate funding, create proposals, evaluate applications and were responsible for awarding the $10,000 in grant funding made available from the Learning by Giving Foundation, which was founded by Doris Buffett, older sister of CBA graduate Warren Buffett.
Amber Messersmith, lecturer of management, taught the class for the first time this semester and said she learned from it along with her students.
“Students learned a great deal about the community and the real issues faced on a daily basis,” Messersmith said. “They shared their commitment to being aware of the needs around them going forward, regardless of where they live. The process has changed our perspectives and made us grateful for opportunities and resources available to us.”