Nonprofit, Community, and Leadership Initiative

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Grantwell Class Group Photo

Grantwell at UNLV is a student led, faculty advised grant allocation training program that provides public administration and nonprofit management graduate students with practical skills and leadership opportunities. Grantwell started at Brigham Young University in 2008 and has since expanded to UNLV in 2013. The model of Grantwell was inspired by a student-led giving program at the University of Mary Washington in which students each semester award $10,000 to a nonprofit organization following a rigorous assessment process.

Grantwell is a graduate level course provided by the UNLV School of Environmental and Public Affairs. Students enrolled in Grantwell gain competencies in grant evaluation and organizational behavior. With a board of directors and executive team composed of students, Grantwell gives students the opportunity to take on leadership roles, gain practical experience and build connections within the local nonprofit community.


To provide graduate students a laboratory for applying the nonprofit management expertise acquired in the classroom to real-world projects.


Grantwell aims to become the premier graduate-level experience for training future nonprofit leaders through philanthropy.


  • Professionalism
  • Stewardship
  • Teamwork
  • Innovation

Grant Allocation Process

Step 1

The client and Grantwell students establish grant criteria.

Step 2

The Grantwell students conduct research and issue a Requests for Proposals to appropriate nonprofits.

Step 3

Nonprofits submit grant proposals to Grantwell, which are evaluated by Grantwell students.

Step 4

The Grantwell students submit their recommendation to the donor.

Step 5

The client contributes its funds to the selected nonprofit.

2015 Grantwell Team

Faculty Advisor

John Wagner, MPA

Executive Director

Shauna Ferguson

Board of Directors


Ken Lange
Lange Development Group


William Wenz

Board Members

Anna Pikovsky Auerbach
Chief Operating Officer
Moonridge Group

Caleen Johnson
Director of Foundation Relations
UNLV Foundation

Stacey Wedding
Founder & CEO
Professionals in Philanthropy