Dr. Sri Seshadri
UNK professor in the Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems, 308.865.8190 or

A $10,000 grant from the Learning by Giving Foundation is giving students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney an opportunity to make grants to local nonprofit organizations.

Students participating in the UNK Field Experience in Marketing (MKT 395) course, mentored by Dr. Sri Seshadri, UNK professor in the Department of Marketing and Management Information Systems, have received the money from the foundation, which was established by Doris Buffet, sister of Warren Buffet.

“We are indeed fortunate to have the financial backing of the Learning by Giving Foundation,” Dr. Seshadri said. “It would have been very hard for students to learn to be engaged in philanthropy in the abstract. This opportunity affords students the hands-on engagement in philanthropy that will result in deeper learning of the needs of a community, and the issues and challenges in strategic giving.

“My hope is that students in the class will become engaged in philanthropy on a consistent basis throughout their lives, whether be with their moneys, time, or talents, and become ambassadors to get other students to commit to philanthropy,” Dr. Seshadri said. “I am hoping that the success of this fall’s class will lead to offering this opportunity every fall to my students.”

UNK is one of only eight campuses in the nation awarded $10,000 from the foundation to distribute to local nonprofit organizations. Other campuses include Columbia University, University of Southern California, Boston College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Brandeis University, University of Mary Washington and SUNY Courtland.

“This opportunity also fits extremely well with the mission of UNK’s College of Business and Technology to have our students be engaged in experiential learning,” Dr. Seshadri said.

Students in the class are currently developing the grant application forms, which will be available in the first week of October, for local nonprofit members to complete by Oct. 19 to be considered for an award.

The class has been divided into four groups, and each group has chosen an area of interest: abuse and related emergency needs, youth recreation, youth education, and human and community services. Each group will have $2,500 to give to local nonprofit organizations.

According to Dr. Seshadri, organizations may apply for multiple grants.

Once applications are submitted, students will evaluate the applications, select the recipients and notify each applicant of the decision. Applicants will receive their funding during a reception to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

“Learning by Giving is an example of how a small change in the traditional paradigm can transform an entire sector,” said Howard Buffet, a board member of the Learning by Giving Foundation. “By simply empowering students to become problem solvers in their own communities, we maximize the impact of our efforts, encourage innovation and inspire life-long engagements with philanthropy.”

Students participating in the class are listed below alphabetically by hometown.

Columbus – Shayla Werner
Holdrege – Samantha Grabast
Kearney – Lisa Klingelhoefer, Brie Maaske, Ciera Neverve
Gibbon – Libby Manfull
North Platte – Kevin Dancer
Petersburg – Megan Faust
St. Paul – Hillary Nielsen
Valley – Luke Conrad

 Bogota – Gustavo Rodriguez
South Korea 
Seoul – Hakjoan Lee