by Kyle Caldwell
In 1992, Grand Valley State University established what has become one of the most well-respected centers for philanthropy in the nation. Throughout its 25-year history, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy has been at the forefront of innovation in engaged philanthropy. The center works and partners with donors and foundations to adopt best practices, helps nonprofit staff and boards strengthen their organizations, and guides community groups in using data.
Today, the sector is challenged to justify its existence in ways not seen since the last great policy reforms enacted in 1969. The philanthropic infrastructure has the burden of ensuring that the sector can develop supportive public policy, a strong sense of its role in society, better use of data and digital tools in an evolving field, and crystal clear messages and brands that convey the need for philanthropy.
Future infrastructure needs to advance innovation, increase the effectiveness of the sector’s voice, and continually demonstrate value to community. Our recently published report, “11 Philanthropic Trends for 2017,” focuses on understanding these developments and highlights the center’s work in the field. Join us in helping to create the infrastructure of tomorrow and lead engagement toward social change. We look forward to seeing what can be accomplished.
Kyle Caldwell is the executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. Learn more about Kyle.