Community Philanthropy
The Nation’s First Endowed Chair in Community Philanthropy
Exploring how communities, donors, and organizations come together to elevate generosity and community engagement

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.

Since the creation of the first community foundation in 1914, community philanthropy has expanded conceptually and geographically. It is now one of the most important global movements to expand and elevate generosity, driven by the core belief that communities are uniquely positioned to mobilize their own assets to address their own challenges.”
Michael Layton, Ph.D.
W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair
Michael Layton
Kellogg Chair
Leading the Center’s Work on Community Philanthropy
As the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, Michael Layton brings to the position decades of experience in the practice and study of philanthropy. He has served as a professor, researcher, director, and consultant at some of the world’s most prominent universities, philanthropies, and development agencies.
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Community Philanthropy Insights & Resources

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:

Mexico Community Foundations: A Comprehensive Profile, 2009–2016

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.

Regulation and Self-Regulation in the Mexican Nonprofit Sector

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.

Giving in Mexico: Generosity, Distrust and Informality

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.

Philanthropy and the Third Sector in Mexico: The Enabling Environment and Its Limitations

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 first holder of the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center, Jason Franklin, Ph.D., served in this position from 2015–2020. As a founding member of the Collective Giving Research Group, Jason conducted groundbreaking work researching the landscape of collective giving and giving circles in the United States and abroad.