W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair (JCFP)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University strives to be a global leader in helping individuals and organizations understand, strengthen, and advance the field of philanthropy. As an academic center within the College of Community and Public Service, the Johnson Center offers applied research, professional development and learning, and data and evaluation expertise to advance the field of philanthropy across the country. The Johnson Center now seeks nominations and applications for the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair.

The W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair was established in 2014 and is the first endowed chair in the country focused on community philanthropy. The Kellogg Chair serves as a leading voice on community philanthropy issues, trends, and innovations while serving as a resource for all who work to advance the many elements of community philanthropy. Working at the dynamic intersection of community and philanthropy, the incoming Kellogg Chair will develop and implement a creative, comprehensive, applied program of research, teaching, service, and thought leadership designed to explore and advance the field of community philanthropy, broadly defined.

Ideal candidates will have a passion for and understanding of the intricate ecosystem of community philanthropy as well as a distinctive combination of academic credentials and senior-level career experience within philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. A doctoral-level degree is required.

The Johnson Center is committed to inclusion and equity and encourages candidates with diverse lived experience and perspectives from underrepresented communities to apply.  The ideal candidate will have experience working effectively across a diverse range of faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders and will be able to demonstrate how they can contribute to a building a culture of inclusivity.


Grand Valley State University: Established in 1960, Grand Valley State University is a comprehensive university that attracts more than 24,400 students with its high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley provides a fully accredited liberal undergraduate and graduate education. Grand Valley's main campus is in Allendale, almost midway between downtown Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan. The Pew Grand Rapids Campus is in the heart of Michigan's second-largest city, putting students closer to employment, internship, and community outreach programs.

A strong liberal education serves as the foundation for Grand Valley State University's 85 undergraduate and 33 graduate degree programs. Grand Valley employs more than 1,700 people and is committed to providing a fair and equitable environment for the continued success of all.

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy: Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an academic center within the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University. Named after respected philanthropic leader Dottie Johnson, the Center benefits from Michigan’s rich philanthropic landscape while extending its work and influence both nationally and internationally as a force for innovation and research in the field of philanthropy. 

Through professional development services, courses and trainingsphilanthropic tools, and more, the Johnson Center supports:

  • Effective Philanthropy: Helping donors and foundations adopt best practices in their careers and organizations
  • Strong Nonprofits: Helping nonprofit organizations strengthen their teams, tools, and thinking for better impact
  • Informed Community Change: Guiding nonprofits, foundations, institutions, and neighborhood groups in using data to do good

The Johnson Center has spearheaded many first-of-their-kind and field-leading products, tools, and publications that benefit the field of philanthropy. In addition to the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, these include: the Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy, LearnPhilanthropy.org and LearnPhilanthropy Academy, The Foundation Review, The Grantmaking School, Community Insight, VoiceKent, and many others.

W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair: The contributions of the Kellogg Chair to improving the understanding and practice of community philanthropy has been well established – on an international scale – under the leadership of Dr. Jason Franklin, the inaugural holder of the Chair. With Franklin’s departure, the Johnson Center is poised to welcome a new Chair. Working at the dynamic intersection of community and philanthropy, the incoming Kellogg Chair will create and implement a creative, comprehensive program of research, teaching, service, and thought leadership designed to explore and forward the field of community philanthropy, broadly defined. The program will be developed to be in line with the incoming Chair’s own areas of expertise and interest and will continue to advance research and practice at this highly dynamic and exciting time for community philanthropy.


 The incoming Kellogg Chair will have the opportunity to:

  • Plan, coordinate, and execute applied research projects and disseminate results.
  • Develop and implement avenues for speaking engagements; thought leadership; advising and consulting projects; professional development and training; and other field-building efforts for diverse local, national, and international audiences.
  • Solicit and secure external funding to help support the Chair’s projects and initiatives.
  • Serve as an active member of the Johnson Center leadership team, helping develop and support the Center’s overall vision and growth.
  • Collaborate with other units and programs of the Johnson Center and the University.
  • Teach one 16-week course each year in a degree-granting unit of the University.
  • Contribute to learning and professional development programs of the Johnson Center, including The Grantmaking School, LearnPhilanthropy, workshops and webinars, and The Foundation Review journal.

The incoming Chair will bring his/her/their own interests to the role and will have the opportunity to work on exciting emerging areas of practice such as:

  • How can we better understand and strengthen philanthropic giving to the communities we care about, including place-based communities and identity communities?
  • How can we give better together – e.g., through community or public foundations, giving circles and collaboratives, crowdfunding, or other vehicles for collective giving?
  • How is community philanthropy changing in a globalizing world?  How is our understanding of “community” and its importance changing in a divided country and a digital age?
  • How can philanthropy give rise to underrepresented voices and create opportunities for authentic dialogue about problems communities face?  How might we co-develop solutions that engage the thoughts and experiences of those closest to the problems? 
  • How can community philanthropy help to shift and build power for groups who have been historically disenfranchised to establish greater equity in our communities?


 Ideal candidates will first and foremost demonstrate a commitment to building the field of community philanthropy and will bring a distinctive combination of academic credentials and relevant senior-level career experience to the work. The Kellogg Chair must have the knowledge and expertise to participate meaningfully as a scholar, teacher, and intellectual mentor in a University setting while also possessing the skills and experience to engage as a reflective practitioner, advisor, and partner with other leaders in philanthropic practice.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. or other doctoral-level degree required
  • Five or more years of relevant experience in community philanthropy and/or nonprofit sector leadership
  • Record of scholarship and/or reflective practice in the field of community philanthropy, including publication in relevant scholarly, philanthropic, public administration, business journals, or periodicals
  • Outstanding research, writing, teaching, and communication skills
  • Proven ability to work across organizational lines and in a team-oriented setting
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion and equity (i.e., personal commitment to knowledge and skill acquisition, work with diverse communities, projects that address inequity, etc.)
  • Commitment to applied research, and to building bridges between scholarship and practice
  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally and to locate to western Michigan

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

  • Training and/or experience in fundraising or business development for applied research, consulting, convenings, or other programs
  • Experience leading project teams and supervising diverse students and/or staff

Salary:  Compensation package with attractive benefits package; salary range $120,000 - $135,000.  

Department/Division:  Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy/College of Community and Public Service

Campus: Grand Rapids

How to Apply:

Apply online at jobs.gvsu.edu and select "Apply now".  Please include a cover letter and resume.  The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically.  On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you have questions or need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See www.gvsu.edu/affirmative/. TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Advertised: 27 Jan 2020 Eastern Standard Time

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately, and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.


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