Dr. Franklin was appointed in June 2015 as the first W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. As the holder of the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy, he is developing a program of research, teaching, service, and thought leadership to explore and advance the field of community philanthropy, nationally and internationally. He brings to this work a background in grantmaking and donor education, nonprofit strategy and leadership, social entrepreneurship, and urban policy advocacy.
Prior to his appointment as the Kellogg Chair, Dr. Franklin served as executive director of Bolder Giving, which he led through five years of major growth after Melinda Gates credited them as an inspiration for the billionaire Giving Pledge. During his tenure, he helped Bolder Giving refine its focus on promoting philanthropy for social, racial, economic & environmental justice and dramatically expand its reach including launching it’s first programming outside the U.S. He has previously worked for the 21st Century School Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership Network housed at NYU’s Research Center for Leadership in Action, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and White House Office of National AIDS Policy.
Dr. Franklin also holds an appointment as an award-winning adjunct professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he will continue to teach about philanthropy and social change. He serves on the boards of the Proteus Fund, Solidaire Donor Network, and 21st Century School Fund; advisory boards of the Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy Program, WiserGiving, and Credit Suisse’s LGBT Equality Portfolio; and is a member of Funding Queerly, the Threshold Foundation, and the High Impact Documentary Funding Circle. He holds a Ph.D. in public administration from New York University.