Photo of a metal door opening to show a school hallway lined with lockers

Student Philanthropy for All

by Adam Goudjil

I’m a product of student philanthropy. Nine years ago, my elementary school class fundraised only using pennies — a Penny Harvest — then democratically decided where the money would go.

I echo the sentiments expressed by countless students who have participated in these kinds of programs. In retrospect, exposing students to …

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Increasing Critiques of (Big) Philanthropy

by Michael Moody and Tory Martin

It’s an increasingly common topic of discussion about — and within — our sector: has philanthropy has gone awry? These critiques are important and provocative appeals to hold big donors and major institutions accountable in a democratic society. Yet, some critics may run the risk of …

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Data Science for Social Impact

by Adriana Paz

Philanthropy’s embrace of data science has been slow, held back by limited resources, infrastructure, and staffing. However, a number of philanthropists and nonprofit organizations are using their resources to grow the pool of professional data scientists and support other nonprofits as they adopt data-informed decision making.

Adriana Paz takes a …

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NOTE: Photo was taken pre-COVID-19.

Beyond Transaction and Prescription: An Inclusive Approach to Giving Nets Greater Impact

by Kathleen Owsley

Prior to the establishment of the Bosch Community Fund in 2011, Bosch in North America maintained a corporate contributions program to support the communities where we have a presence. The Bosch Community Fund was created to expand upon these existing investments and …

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Kent County Essential Needs Task Force shares how they’re using the Economic Inclusion in Grand Rapids report

Interview with Wende Randall and Emily Madsen, Kent County Essential Needs Task Force

by Melyssa Tsai O’Brien

This past spring, the Johnson Center released an updated review of progress toward economic inclusion in particular neighborhoods of Grand Rapids, Michigan, underwritten by …

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Colleges and universities could do more to tap their nontraditional alumni base. Here’s how.

by Gaetan Giannini

It is no secret that higher education is at an inflection point. Colleges and universities are facing academic, financial, and social pressures like never before. Kevin Carey (2020) points out that, according to estimates by the college financial planning firm …

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The Necessary, the Possible, and the Impossible

Annual Report 2019-2020

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”

Attributed to Francis of Assisi, this quote seems an apt description of how the philanthropic sector responded to the last year. At the beginning of our fiscal year (July 2019), we at the …

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Putting economic inclusion data to work in Grand Rapids

An interview with Stacy Stout, director of equity and engagement with the City of Grand Rapids

Stacy Stout

This past spring, the Johnson Center released a new report, underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, examining data on economic inclusion in particular neighborhoods of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The …

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Image: Route of Tren Maya/Mayan Train

Mexican president targets U.S. philanthropy, but it’s Mexican civil society that could take the hit

by Michael Layton

On Friday August 28, 2020, four days before I officially became the W.K. Kellogg Chair for Community Philanthropy at the Johnson Center, I knew what the topic of my inaugural blog for this platform would be.

That day, Mexico’s president, …

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Photo: Michael Layton

Meet Michael Layton, the new W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center

Michael Layton, Ph.D., joined the Johnson Center on September 1, 2020 as the second holder of the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair.

Before he began in this new position, Tory Martin, director of communications and engagement, sat down virtually with Dr. Layton to …

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