The Johnson Center Philanthropy Archives and Special Collections preserves and promotes research in Michigan philanthropy in partnership with GVSU Libraries. The collections support the study and research interests of visiting scholars, GVSU faculty, students in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration, and the general public.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Library

Bookmark this GVSU library subject page for the latest information on all aspects of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. Book titles can be accessed from your local library statewide through MelCat. 

You are invited to visit the Philanthropy Reading Room at the Steelcase Library on GVSU’s Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids (campus map) and browse non-circulating reference materials and publications.

Johnson Center staff and students have access to in-house library materials onsite listed on LibraryThing.

Philanthropy Archives and Special Collections

Archives and special collections are housed at Grand Valley State University in physical and digital format.

Our digital collections include interviews with Michigan philanthropists and highlights of collections from the Johnson Center Archives of philanthropy and philanthropists in the State of Michigan.

Finding aids for archival collections and reference resources listed below are provided to help find, understand, and locate resources that include primary and secondary sources and unique reference materials.

New Aquisition Dyer-Ives Foundation Records August 26, 2016
The Dyer-Ives Foundation records span from 1961 to 2016, and document the philanthropic activities of the Grand Rapids-based non-profit organization. Founded by John Hunting, the organization funded projects related to the humanities, art and cultural programs, education, the environment, employment, housing and shelter, youth development services, human services, community development, neighborhood development, philanthropy and voluntarism. Dyer-Ives Foundation focused its efforts on building and strengthening grassroots projects in the Grand Rapids city center. Though a finding aid is not yet available, the records are open for research use. For more immediate information about the Dyer-Ives Foundation, visit

Managing and Donating Your Records

For information about preserving and maintaining your organization’s records, please refer to this guide: Johnson Center Philanthropy Archives: Managing Your Records

If you are interested in donating materials, please contact us.

Other Philanthropic Archives and Libraries

The S.O.U.L. (Sharing Our Uncommon Legacy) of Philanthropy project collection holds raw material interviews with area philanthropists at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Clips of interviews are featured in a documentary about philanthropy and community building in Grand Rapids, “The Gift of All, a Community of Givers.”

Learning to Give provides creative educator resources for grades 6-12 that guide learners to create their own stories of giving. Briefing papers summarize the life and philanthropy of the individuals highlighted in the S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy documentary.

The Library of Congress produced a video guide to Archiving Digital Audio.