Research & Initiatives
Family foundations and other family donors play an essential and increasing, yet often unheralded, role in addressing social challenges and enhancing the quality of life in communities across the globe.
The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center works with a network of partners to pursue a comprehensive, international program of applied research, speaking and writing, professional education and teaching, and other activities.
The Chair was made possible by the vision and generosity of the Frey Foundation, one of Michigan’s largest family foundations, which was established in 1974 in Grand Rapids by Edward J. and Frances T. Frey.
Research and Initiatives for Family Philanthropy
The Frey Foundation Chair’s work includes applied research and scholarship, international thought leadership through speaking and writing, convening and field-building, curriculum development and training, advising, and much more.
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Community foundations and donors play an essential and increasing, yet often unheralded, role in addressing social challenges and enhancing the quality of life in communities across the globe.
The W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair was established at the Johnson Center in 2015. The Chair partners with a network of community and public foundations, collective giving groups, and national and international communities to support, research, and lift up the practice of community philanthropy.
This Chair honors the philanthropic legacy and civic investment of W.K. Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company and W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Kellogg Chair was established with a gift from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Kellogg Company 25-Year Employees’ Fund.
Community Philanthropy Insights From Our Blog
Research and Initiatives for Community Philanthropy
Michael Layton’s professional accomplishments span applied research and scholarship, international thought leadership through speaking and writing, convening and field-building, curriculum development and training, advising, and much more. Examples of his work include:
With support from the Charles Stewart Mott and Inter-American Foundations, Alternativas y Capacidades, AC, conducted interviews and desk research on 21 community foundations in Mexico. This report offers an analysis of their development and makes recommendations on how to strengthen their capacity. By understanding their evolution and context, community foundations will be better positioned to make a meaningful, lasting impact in their communities.
This case study of Mexico is a contribution to the edited volume, Regulatory Waves: Comparative Perspectives on State Regulation and Self-Regulation Policies in the Nonprofit Sector (Cambridge University Press, 2017). The chapter examines recent trends in state regulation of Mexico’s nonprofit sector and nongovernmental initiatives aimed at increasing the sector’s transparency and accountability.
Based on Mexico’s first national public opinion survey on giving and volunteering, this chapter is one of 25 country-specific studies in The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy (2015). The chapter enriches the reader’s understanding of the Mexican context and its seemingly contradictory philanthropic culture of generosity and distrust by providing both an in-depth case study and a comparative perspective.
Why is Mexico’s philanthropic sector underdeveloped? Despite the importance of this question, there is no persuasive response. This article develops the concept of an enabling environment to offer a diagnostic framework, including the following elements: empowering legal frameworks, adequate fiscal incentives, an effective accountability system, adequate institutional capacity of organizations, the availability of resources, and the civic culture.
Collective Giving Circles
The Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) reflects our core conviction that these principles form the bedrock of thriving communities and must be integral to the everyday practice of philanthropy.
Still, our field as it exists today suffers from the same systemic issues of racial inequity, injustice, and white privilege that afflict every sector of our society. Countless individuals and organizations have called on all of us to do better. These calls come from the same place as philanthropy itself: a love for humankind.
At the Johnson Center, we are committed to continuing this work with intentionality, humility, and persistence. Research and community engagement efforts lead the way.
Research and Initiatives for
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At the Johnson Center, all of our teams conduct research in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our Scholar in Residence helps to lead and shape this work through collaboration and consultation.
Let’s build a more equitable future.
Moving Philanthropy Forward Together
Our current initiatives aim to build unique, world-class programs and partnerships that advance more equitable and effective philanthropy. The Johnson Center seeks support to plan, implement, and launch these programs.