Puaf 214 Leading and Investing in Social Change: Redefining and Experimenting with Philanthropy



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PUAF 214

Leading and Investing in Social Change:

Redefining and Experimenting with Philanthropy

2:00-3:15pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

Classroom: Easton Multi-purpose Room
Professor:

Susannah Washburn

School of Public Policy

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays after class in Easton and by appointment


Course Overview:

In the United States, the nonprofit sector encompasses over a million organizations, annually reports trillions of dollars in revenue and assets, represents approximately ten percent of the workforce, and annually generates over four hundred billion dollars through donations and volunteers. More than ever before, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations actively influence both the development and implementation of public policy. Anyone who wants to make a big difference in the world needs to understand how the nonprofit sector works.


This course will focus on the philanthropic dimension of the nonprofit sector. Students will learn how leaders develop a vision of the public good and then deploy resources (including time, talent and treasure) to achieve an impact.  Over the course of the semester, we will go through the challenging and exciting process of granting thousands of dollars to achieve a beneficial impact in our community. As we will experience, giving money away well is an incredible responsibility that requires a wide variety of skills. Our grant deliberations and decisions will lead us to confront, question, and sharpen our values, decisions, and leadership skills.
Throughout the course, we will discuss the history, development, roles, and issues related to philanthropy in American society as well as the habits and approaches of successful leaders and entrepreneurs. We will examine case studies and course reading that will inform our giving strategy and decisions.  You will complete the course with an understanding of the leadership needed to achieve social change.
At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Critically synthesize and articulate the history, theories, and roles of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

  • Learn, practice, and exhibit the leadership and entrepreneurial skills required to make an impact on a social issue or problem, including:

    • strategy development and implementation,

    • negotiating and resolving conflicts and facilitating cooperation in diverse groups,

    • decision making,

    • managing teams,

    • cross-cultural awareness,

    • partnership development and networks management, and

    • persuading through written and oral communications.

  • Critically re-examine your ideas and values in the light of researching, studying, and engaging with the needs of the greater Washington region; and

  • Articulate your view of the role and capacity of philanthropy to solve serious problems.

For our class grant, we will follow these guidelines:



  • Grant awards must be made to nonprofits with a charitable mission,

  • All organization(s)/project(s) funded must be located in either Prince George’s County or the District of Columbia.



Some key questions to reflect on throughout the semester:

Robert Payton, one of the founding figures of the study of philanthropy, developed a series of “basic questions” that will help us develop a framework for “rightly-directed philanthropic action.” We encourage you to reflect on these important questions throughout the semester:


What is going on? What is it about the world (or the society or the local community) that presents a problem or compelling issue?
What is to be done? What might be an appropriate response to that problem or issue?
Why philanthropy? Of the four resources for assistance (self- help, mutual aid, government assistance, and philanthropy) is philanthropic action the best way to respond?
What business is it of mine (ours, yours)? On what basis is philanthropic action justified?
Who benefits besides the recipient of assistance? If the donor receives a benefit, is it appropriate or not?
Why us? Are we “the right people at the right time?” To whom are we accountable?
Course Expectations and Final Grade:

Assignments are due at the date and time specified. Assignments are considered late if turned in any time after the assigned time and date. Late assignments may lose a partial letter grade for each day past the due date. More details on the assignments below will be discussed in class and posted on ELMS. Your final letter grade will be determined by the letter grades (A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- or F) you earn on the weighted assignments below.


10% Active, constructive participation in class

Each student must complete the assigned readings prior to class. Your participation grade is dependent on the quality of your discussion and attendance; any absence or lateness may affect your grade. After each class, I will make note of late arrivals and evaluate each person’s participation. I recognize that everyone has an “off-day,” this should not worry you. It is your overall participation throughout the semester that will dictate your grade. Participation takes the form of offering thoughtful comments and questions, listening attentively, engaging in class activities, and taking leadership in discussion occasionally—this does not mean monopolizing the conversation.


Over the course of the semester, students will participate in large and small group discussions, deliver mini-presentations, and participate in a mock debate of philanthropists. All of this will contribute to your participation grade.
If you have concerns about your class participation, please speak with a member of the teaching team and we can think of ways to include you more.
Your participation will be evaluated across four dimensions: (a) Attendance; (b) Timeliness (c) Integration and consideration of course readings in comments; (d) Respect for others and listening and responding to others’ comments.
5% Blogging and other non-graded participation assignments

Each week, 1-2 student(s) will be assigned to blog about the readings or a course experience. These blogs will be posted publicly. Our class blog is located at: http://igivecollegepark.wordpress.com All students are expected to have read the blogs before class and periodically contribute comments. From time to time there will be non-graded participation assignments, such as site visit reports, speaking on panels etc. Participating in and satisfactorily completing these assignments will earn you full points in this category.


30% Leadership Case Analysis

The case analysis assignments will give you insight on the inner workings of a relevant leadership issue and give you the opportunity to think about how you would handle the issue. There is no right or wrong answer for the assignments. Grades will be determined on how well you have analyzed the case and supported your arguments. High quality responses will reference ideas from class readings to support your thesis. The assignment for each case is in ELMS. Your response must be submitted via ELMS by the date and time indicated. Your submissions should be single-spaced, no less than one page, but no more than two. To help you learn how to write a good case, I have assigned a “case analysis coach” that will walk you through the process of analyzing a case and formulating strong arguments. We will discuss in class how to write a strong case analysis. In addition, each case will form the basis of class discussion for the day it is assigned.


10% Community Issues Research Paper -- Group Assignment

Based on the top community issues selected by the class (such as unemployment, youth development, high school dropouts, college access, and environmental revitalization, etc.), you will research and write a paper covering the background of the issue, key issues today, promising solutions, and how philanthropy (and in particular our limited class funds) could contribute to the promising solutions. You will outline the issue and its components including the scope of the problem (national, state or local), major players involved and their viewpoints, current efforts to address the problem, and any other issue germane to our class project. These papers will be written in small groups. These groups will be formed in class based on student’s interests. A detailed assignment sheet for this assignment is in ELMS and we will spend time in class discussing how to write a persuasive paper.


25% Final Grantee Analysis and Recommendation Paper

Prior to our final grant decision discussion, you will be asked to prepare an analysis of all grant finalists by incorporating information from the proposals, leadership interviews, and site visits. Your paper will ultimately argue for one or more grant recommendations.


20% Final Reflection Paper

Near the end of the course, you will submit a two page, single-spaced paper reflecting on the issues we discussed, the lessons you learned about philanthropy, your personal experiences with philanthropy, and effective ways to engage in philanthropy and achieve a community impact.


Recap of Major Course Assignments and Due Dates

Summary of assignments:

Grade Percentage

Due Dates

Class Participation

10%

Ongoing

Blogging and other participation assignments

5%

Ongoing

Leadership Case Analyses

Must complete all three

30%

9/10, 9/22/, 10/20


Community Issues Research Paper

10%

9/27

Final Grantee Analysis & Recommendation Paper

25%

11/30

Final Reflection Paper

20%

12/14

Class Schedule
Class 1: September 1st – Introduction: What is philanthropy?
Class 2: September 3rd – Why is making a difference hard? When is philanthropy “appropriate”?
Readings:

  • Robert Payton. “Dialogue Between the Head and the Heart,” Philanthropy: Voluntary Action for the Public Good. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987, pages 141-146.

  • Noah Drezner. “Thurgood Marshall: A Study of Philanthropy through Racial Uplift," Uplifting a People: African American Philanthropy and Education. New York: Peter Lang, 2005, Pages 89-100.

  • The Case Analysis Coach. (To be purchased on-line at: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/39566876 .)


Class 3: September 8th Is there a difference between charity and philanthropy? Is one better than the other? How do different cultures and religions practice philanthropy?
Readings for all:

  • Robert Payton and Michael Moody. Understanding Philanthropy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 16-19, 75-95, and 105-119.

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne. “The Snow Image,” The Snow Image and Uncollected Tales. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1970, pages 7-25.



Readings to be read in depth by a few who will brief the class:

  • Robert A. Gross. “Giving in America: From Charity to Philanthropy,” Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, eds. Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, skim 29-48.

  • Moses Maimonides, “Eight Levels of Tzedakah (Giving),” Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 95-96.

  • Shariq Siddiqui, “Giving in the Way of God: Muslim Philanthropy in the United States,” Religious Giving. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005, 28-46.

  • Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering. Robert T. Grimm, Jr, Editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002, Pages 5-9 (American Indian Philanthropy)


Class 4: September 10th What makes a social investment inspired or misguided?
Readings:

  • An Inspired Model… or a Misguided One? Oprah Winfrey’s Dream School for Impoverished South African Girls.” Purchase at Harvard Business Publishing: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/39566876

  • McGuffy’s Reader. “True and False Philanthropy,” in Brian O’Connell, America’s Voluntary Spirit: A Book of Readings. New York: Foundation Center, 1983, pages 59-61.

  • Thomas Kelley, “There’s No Such Thing as ‘Bad Charity,’” Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 245-247.


Case Analysis Assignment:

  • As Thomas Jefferson wrote, effective philanthropy is a continual struggle between the head and heart. With that in mind, read the case study on Oprah Winfrey’s $40 million dollar Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. This philanthropic initiative gained considerable praise and criticism. Based on our readings and discussion, what is your evaluation of Oprah’s choice to invest $40 million in the creation of this school? Is it an effective and inspired philanthropic investment or a misguided one? Explain your assessment.


Class 5: September 15th– Notable American Philanthropists and Strategic Philanthropy
Readings: (Note, these readings are for classes 5 and 6)

  • Andrew Carnegie. The Gospel of Wealth. (originally printed in 1889). IU Center on Philanthropy Essay, 1993.

  • John Rockefeller, “The Difficult Art of Giving,” in Brian O’Connell, America’s Voluntary Spirit: A Book of Readings. New York: Foundation Center, 1983, pages 109-117.

  • Julius Rosenwald. “Principles of Public Giving,” in Brian O’Connell, America’s Voluntary Spirit: A Book of Readings. New York: Foundation Center, 1983, pages 119-128.

  • Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering. Robert T. Grimm, Jr, Editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002, Pages 1-5 (Jane Addams), 52-55 (Andrew Carnegie), 256-260 (John Rockefeller Sr.), 277-280 (Julius Rosenwald), 197-200 (Mary Lyon), 107-112 (Mary Garrett), and 104-107 (Hector Garcia).

  • Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering. Robert T. Grimm, Jr, Editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002, Pages 99-103 (Benjamin Franklin).

  • Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering. Robert T. Grimm, Jr, Editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002, 116-121 (Stephan Girard), 314-318, (Arthur and Lewis Tappan), 129-133 (Rebecca Gratz), and 301-305 (George Soros).


Readings to be read in depth by a few who will brief the class on 9/15:

  • Carol J. Loomis, “The $600 billion challenge” Fortune 2010: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2010/06/16/gates-buffett-600-billion-dollar-philanthropy-challenge/

  • Jim Lacey, “Gates, Buffett, and Misguided Philanthropy” National Review 2011: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/267504/gates-buffett-and-brmisguided-philanthropy-jim-lacey



Class 6: September 18th – The Great Debate

Students will adopt the perspective of a famous American philanthropist and participate in a panel debate.
Class 7: September 22nd – Governance Issues

Reading:

Case Study, KSG 1551: Family Foundation Governance at the J.M. Kaplan Fund (on ELMS)
Case Analysis Assignment:

What is your assessment of Betty and Brad’s challenges? Are the challenges valid and if so, what should be done about them? What direction would you advise for the future of the Kaplan fund and how should the fund make future grant decisions? Why would what you propose be an effective strategy going forward?


Class 8: September 25thLearning Different Decision Making Techniques
Community Issues Research Paper – Due
Class 9: September 29th – Hestia, A Giving Circle Case Study

Reading:

The Hestia Fund, accessed at: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/39566876
Class 10: October 1st –Discuss Community Issues Paper Findings and Developing Our Class Philanthropic Fund’s Mission and Values
Readings:

You must read each of the Community Issues Papers submitted by your peers and come to class prepared to discuss which issue our class should choose. Papers will be distributed to you by one of the graduate teaching assistants.


Classes 11 and 12: October 7th and 9thDeveloping Our Class Philanthropic Fund’s Request for Proposals
Readings:

  • Craig Dykstra, “What is a Grant?” Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 79-81.

  • Joel Orosz. The Insider’s Guide to Grantmaking. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2000, 246-248.

  • Sample RFPs shared by instructor.


Readings to be read in depth by a few who will brief the class:

  • Anna Faith Jones, “Doors and Mirrors: Reflections on the Art of Philanthropy.”  Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 46-53.

  • Michael A. Bailin, “Re-Engineering Philanthropy: Field Notes from the Trenches,” Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 268-275.

  • Draper, L., “The Seven Principles of Firmly Centered Grantmakers,” Foundation News & Commentary, Vol. 42, No. 5, September/October 2001. http://www.foundationnews.org/CME/article.cfm?ID=1537



Class 13: October 13th – Examining High Impact Nonprofits and Digging Deeper into our Issue
Readings:

  • Heather McLeod Grant & Leslie R. Crutchfield. “Creating High-Impact Nonprofits.” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Fall 2007. Available at:http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/creating_high_impact_nonprofits

  • Readings to be added to ELMS on the community issue we select


Class 14: October 15th – Digging Deeper on our Issue and Learning how to Assess Proposals
Class 15: October 20th – Leadership and Community Impact
Readings:

  • Parks and Partnership in New York City (Part A): Adrian Benepe's Challenge. Purchase at Harvard Business Publishing: https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/access/39566876

  • N. Levy. “Against philanthropy, individual and corporate.” In The kindness of strangers. 2002, 159-170.

  • "Controversy over Donor's Role Causes Smithsonian to Lose $36.5 Million." Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2/21/2002.


Readings to be read in depth by a few who will brief the class:

  • Robin Rogers. “The Hidden Costs of Million Dollar Donations.” Washington Post. December 30th. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-hidden-costs-of-million-dollar-donations/2011/12/20/gIQAzpC1QP_story.html


Case Analysis Assignment:

During the early years of the American republic there was substantial debate over the role of philanthropy in a democracy. Many of the founding figures of the United States believed democracy could be imperiled by philanthropy. We will examine the merits of this debate through a modern lens, the New York Public Parks. Read Parks and Partnership in New York City and then consider these questions: What are the primary strengths and weaknesses of Adrian Benepe’s leadership style and approach to the New York City Parks? Some of the founding leaders of the American Republic were concerned that philanthropy could corrupt democracy. Do you think philanthropy and nonprofits have or could have too much influence on how the city’s parks are run? Why or why not?


Class 16: October 22 – Preparing to Review Our Proposals
Readings:

  • Joel Orosz. The Insider’s Guide to Grantmaking. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2000, 56-62.


Classes 17 and 18: October 27th and 29th - Reviewing Proposals
Readings:

Come to class with the applications reviewed and scored


Classes 19 and 20: November 4th and 6thInterviewing Leaders
Readings:


Classes 21 and 22: November 11th and 13th – Selecting Finalists for Site Visits
Readings:

  • William Schambra, “Evaluation Wars,” Amy Kass, ed. Giving Well and Doing Good. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008, 301-306.

  • Joel Orosz. The Insider’s Guide to Grantmaking. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2000, 130-139.

  • Prior to these classes, you will have listened to phone interviews you have not yet heard. These will be posted on ELMS.

  • Come prepared to discuss and negotiate a final slate of potential grantees for site visits next week.


Classes 23 and 24: Site Visits, Roughly November 16th – November 23th

  • No formal class but students should expect to travel to at least two site visits over the next week and a half. Please note: Some or all site visits will be outside of regular class time.

  • Post one-paragraph Site Visit Reports on ELMS. More details TBA.


Class 25: November 24th


Classes 26 and 27: December 1st and 3rd - Final Grant Decisions

  • In these classes, we will discuss final grant decisions. By the end of the two classes we will make our final grant decision and discuss next steps.


Classes 28 and 29: December 8th and 10th- Final Discussion & Prep for Grant Award Ceremony

These classes will be used to prepare group presentations of our final grant decisions to an external audience.


Public Grants Award Ceremony - The ceremony will take place during the class’s scheduled final exam period. Attendance is mandatory.



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