Philanthropy is an emerging field on campus. There are now hundreds of classes, many minors and majors, and some graduate degrees. Some emphasize fundraising, others take the perspective of donors, a few focus on broad research about voluntary action in America.

They are housed in business schools, within law faculties, in public-administration departments, under social-work umbrellas, or in a few cases in dedicated philanthropy centers. Even The Fund for American Studies has built a service and citizenship track into its existing curriculum for interns. Below, we hear from faculty, graduates, donors to, and observers of these college programs.

Amir Pasic, Dean, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Before becoming Lilly’s dean in 2015, Pasic served at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

On an MBA or MPA track, philanthropy will be at most a piece of your training. Our program at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is not about the march of commerce or effective government, but voluntary human action. We’re rooted in the liberal arts. We’re covering ethics and economics and politics. We teach the fundamentals of research and grantmaking. We teach the intellectual aspects of philanthropy. We provide context.

David Campbell, Professor, Binghamton University
For the last eight years, David Campbell has been teaching a grantmaking class that gives undergraduates $10,000 (supplied by the Learning by Giving Foundation founded by Doris Buffett) to award to local nonprofits.

The first third of the course provides students a sense of their obligation as community members, and trains them how to think about doing good well. The middle third examines strategies to evaluate nonprofits and community needs. Over the course’s final weeks, students make site visits, interview finalist organizations, and deliberate on how to direct their gift. The course simulates resource-allocation challenges and underscores the essential role philanthropy plays in shaping community life, while also providing a fresh infusion of cash to local nonprofits.

Read the rest of the college programs in philanthropy by Daniel P. Smith at Philanthropy Roundtable.