News and analysis
January 05, 2016

Jason Franklin: a ‘Community First’ Strategy

Courtesy of Jason Franklin

Jason Franklin, 36
W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Jason Franklin wants to help people be smarter donors.

It’s a mission he took on as the first president of Bolder Giving, a New York nonprofit credited by Melinda Gates as an inspiration for the Giving Pledge, and one that he plans to continue as the first W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair.

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The endowed position at Grand Valley State University is aimed at researching and advancing the field of community philanthropy. Mr. Franklin hopes to study how people give through community foundations, giving circles, and donor networks in specific geographic areas or to address issues of common interest.

His goal isn’t to churn out academic papers, he says, but to make community philanthropy more effective. Still, he recognizes the value of the freedom of an academic post: "I’m part of the field, but I don’t have a stake in any organization’s priority."

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