Michael Moody Ph.D.

Michael Moody joined the Johnson Center in 2010 as the nation’s first endowed chair focusing on family philanthropy. He is trained as a cultural sociologist and has been actively working to understand and improve philanthropy and nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years.

As the Frey Chair, Dr. Moody works with a network of national advisors and partners to implement a comprehensive program of applied research, teaching, professional development, and public service, all designed to advance and promote the field of family philanthropy in the United States.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University, Dr. Moody was one of the first employees of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University where he helped develop the Jane Addams Fellows program. He went on to receive a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in sociology from Princeton University, with a research focus on philanthropic giving and nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Moody was a university professor for nine years, first at Boston University and then the University of Southern California, where he was a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy. From 2008–2010 he was President of Moody Philanthropic Consulting, LLC, based in Richmond, VA, providing research and writing, project development, advising, and related services.

He co-authored (with Beth Breeze) the recently published book, The Philanthropy Reader (Routledge, 2017). He is also co-author (with Robert L. Payton) of the book, Understanding Philanthropy: Its Meaning and Mission (Indiana University Press, 2008), a book highlighting the vital but often neglected importance of philanthropy in our lives, and outlining a conceptual framework for thinking about the role philanthropy plays in any society.

Dr. Moody has also done extensive research and writing on topics such as family foundations, next generation giving, donor education, ethical giving, venture philanthropy, giving as “giving back,” and how nonprofits advocate for the public good. He recently co-authored the study, Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, and wrote about the findings in Forbes, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Chronicle of Philanthropy. He is a frequent speaker about philanthropy at venues across the U.S. and worldwide.

Areas of Expertise 

  • Philanthropy
  • Family Philanthropy
  • Family Foundations

Media & Mentions