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IMPACT: Philanthropic Institutions & Justice


(Same as GSBGEN 580). This is a three week compressed course, and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, will co-teach week three. Many of today's philanthropic institutions operate with unprecedented innovation and influence and lead in a way that rapidly adapts to society's ever-evolving needs, issues and crises. In this course we will look at the different types of philanthropic institutions (including foundations, LLCs and corporate philanthropy) that are driving this innovation and the diverse models that shape their operations and grantmaking. We will explore how to create philanthropic strategy, investment criteria, social change goals, short-, intermediate- and long-term indicators of success as well as how each of these factors merge to drive a unique grantmaking process. Students will drill down into the best practices of grantee-centric philanthropy as well as how to comprehensively assess nonprofits, evaluate grant proposals and make strategic funding recommendations. We will hear from globally renowned and new generation philanthropic leaders implementing the most innovative and impactful approaches across issue areas including climate change, movement building, policy change, voting rights, the arts and education, all through the lens of justice. Speakers will potentially include Laura Muñoz Arnold (Arnold Foundation), Crystal Hayling and Ashley Clark (Libra Foundation), Hal Harvey (Energy Innovation), Justin Steele ( and Jon Stryker (Arcus Foundation). Students will engage in skill-building assignments including informal assessments of local nonprofits and a formal, written assignment that entails analyzing actual grant proposals and presenting a hypothetical funding recommendation.