The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership
To create a new culture of philanthropy through developing more effective and innovative citizens and leaders committed to improving our world.
In the United States, the philanthropic and nonprofit sector encompasses over a million organizations, represents approximately ten percent of the workforce, annually reports trillions of dollars in revenue and assets, and annually generates over four hundred billion dollars through donations and volunteers. The nonprofit sector is so heavily intertwined with the public sector that government executives will find themselves interacting and partnering with nonprofits on a regular basis. Philanthropy and its key partners (nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, and social entrepreneurs) are major players in how social issues are addressed, how public policy gets developed and implemented, and how change occurs domestically and globally.
In 2010, we launched a unique experiment in education with two goals: (1) Educate and empower the future leaders of nonprofit organizations in our community and throughout the world and (2) Engage and permeate an entire university so that every student passing through its halls graduates as an informed and motivated philanthropist. In just two short years, this experiment has grown past our wildest expectations. Our spark caught fire, spurring an innovative and impactful approach to college learning that is unparalleled across higher education. Due to the growing importance of this sector, the Maryland School of Public Policy established the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit.
The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership is one of the first endeavors in the nation to extensively immerse university students in the practice of philanthropy as well as nonprofit leadership and management. One of the Center’s core tenets is that learning is not a passive activity, but instead requires active participation and deep practical application. The Center plans to infuse a culture of philanthropy across the University of Maryland through major campus activities and dramatically enhance the region and beyond by producing cutting-edge research and partnerships.
The tremendous success of these efforts is just the beginning. With seed funding from Bruce and Karen ’76 Levenson, we will collectively create a new culture of philanthropy by developing effective and innovative citizens and leaders committed to improving our world.
“The most inspiring thing about the nature of philanthropy is the principle that the world is moving in a progressive and modernizing direction, and anyone can play a part in that evolution.”
~ Philanthropy undergraduate course alumnus