Facutly and Research

Philanthropy & Funding

Faculty research, publications, and cases focus on evolving models and approaches being deployed to mobilize financial resources within the social sector, including venture philanthropy; impact investing; emerging trends related toward funding; and capital flows within the nonprofit sector.

  • Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists

    Christine W. Letts, William Ryan, and Allen Grossman

    U.S. foundations and nonprofits work diligently on behalf of society's most needy and yet report that progress is slow and social problems persist. How can they learn to be more effective with their limited resources? Venture capital firms offer a helpful benchmark. In addition to putting up capital, they closely monitor the companies in which they have invested, provide management support, and stay involved long enough to see the company become strong.

  • The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy

    Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer

    When it comes to philanthropy, executives increasingly see themselves as caught between critics demanding ever higher levels of "corporate social responsibility" and investors applying pressure to maximize short-term profits. But there is a more truly strategic way to think about philanthropy. Corporations can use their charitable efforts to improve their competitive context--the quality of the business environment in the locations where they operate.

  • The Robin Hood Foundation

    Alnoor Ebrahim and Cathy Ross

    Created by hedge fund and financial managers, the Robin Hood Foundation fights poverty through grants to nonprofit organizations. The organization's senior vice president, Michael Weinstein, has developed a benefit-cost (BC) approach to analyze the performance of program grants. How effective is the method? In three or five years' time, how will Robin Hood know if it is succeeding?

  • The Emerging Capital Market for Nonprofits

    Robert S. Kaplan and Allen S. Grossman

    Why is it that effective business start-ups frequently grow into corporate giants, but effective new nonprofits rarely reach national scale? Because, according to the authors, the mechanisms and institutions that channel money and information between donors and nonprofits are underdeveloped. The good news is, that's beginning to change: A new generation of charitable foundations and intermediaries is measuring the impact of donations and targeting the highest-performing nonprofits.


  • Recent Publications

    “The Emerging Capital Market for Nonprofits”
    Article / Robert S. Kaplan and Allen S. Grossman / October 2010

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    “The Robin Hood Foundation”
    Case / Alnoor Ebrahim and Cathy Ross /May 2010

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    “Acumen Fund: Measurement in Venture Philanthropy”
    Case / Alnoor Ebrahim /September 2009

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    “Root Capital”
    Case /V. Kasturi Rangan and Katharine Lee /September 2009

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    “Brummer and the bracNet Investment”
    Case / Alnoor Ebrahim, Michael Pirson, and Patricia Mangas /April 2009

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    “Note on Socially Responsible Investing”
    Case /Sandra J. Sucher, and Daniela Beyersdorfer /February 2009

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  • Recommended Reading

    “The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy”
    Article / Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer / December 2002

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    “Philanthropy’s New Agenda: Creating Value”
    Article / Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer / November 1999

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    “Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists”
    Article / Christine W. Letts, William Ryan, and Allen Grossman / March 1997

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  • MBA Courses

    Leading and Governing High Performing Nonprofit Organizations
    Professor Allen Grossman

    See Course Description

    Social Impact Investing: Field Course
    Senior Lecturer Michael Chu and Professor V. Kasturi "Kash" Rangan

    See Course Description