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Emory UniversitySpring 2020Philanthropy LabDepartments: Goizueta Business SchoolWesley Longhofer, Brian Goebel35 students
Emory UniversitySpring 2021Philanthropy LabDepartments: Goizueta Business SchoolBrian Goebel, Tené Traylor18 students
Emory UniversitySpring 2022Philanthropy LabDepartments: Goizueta Business SchoolBrian Goebel, Tené Traylor36 students
Emory UniversitySpring 2023Philanthropy LabDepartments: Goizueta Business SchoolTené Traylor, Brian Goebel36 students

Philanthropy Lab
Taught by Brian Goebel, Tené Traylor, Wesley Longhofer
Department of the Goizueta Business School

Brian Goebel serves as the Managing Director for the Business & Society Institute, a research center within Emory University’s Business School that addresses complex challenges confronting people, the planet, and businesses through academic discovery and purposeful action.  

He oversees the Institute’s growing portfolio of programs focused on climate change and energy systems; inequalities in organizations, markets, and communities, purpose-driven entrepreneurship and innovation, transparent trade, impact investing, and reimagined corporate responsibility. Additionally, Brian is a Lecturer in Organization & Management teaching BBA and MBA courses focused on philanthropy, social impact management, and certified B Corps.  

Prior to joining the Goizueta Business School, Brian worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP and community builder at United Way of Greater Atlanta. He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Emory University and a Bachelors of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. 

Tené Traylor is a Lecturer in Organization and Management at Emory Goizueta Business School. She also is philanthropic professional overseeing The Kendeda Fund’s Atlanta portfolio, focusing on equitable access to high-quality K12 education and economic opportunity (emphasis on long-term affordability, community wealth building, and accessible quality transit) for historically marginalized populations and Black and brown people in metro Atlanta. She also manages a national portfolio dedicated to restoring and reclaiming dignity to work for people living with a current or old criminal conviction. Her career in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector spans 20 years. Before Kendeda, Tené worked at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, United Way, and The Zeist Foundation. She has experience in community development, neighborhood transformation, HIV/AIDS, interfaith relations, affordable housing, education justice/reform, criminal justice, and economic justice/community wealth building.

Tené has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in public policy and nonprofit administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Georgia State University.  She is on the board of The Center for Community Progress, Georgia Grantmakers Association, and the co-founder and current board chair for the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative.

Wesley Longhofer is Associate Professor of Organization & Management in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, where he also holds appointments in sociology, ethics, and the Emory Global Health Institute. He is the Academic Director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta and the forthcoming Roberto C. Goizueta Institute for Business and Society. Some of his published work on charitable organizations, environmental protection, and international law has appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, and Social Forces. His research on climate change and the energy sector has been funded by the National Science Foundation and his co-authored book, Super Polluters: Tackling the World’s Largest Sites of Climate-Disrupting Emissions, will be published this summer by Columbia University Press. More recently, Wes has been examining the nonprofits and social enterprises that high school students start as they prepare for college. Wes received his PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota in 2011.

Partnered with Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta


  • Students write a position paper to reflect and take a stand on a current philanthropic debate.
  • Letter to future you – sharing key lessons learned and commitments for their future philanthropic selves.

Montgomery Experiential Learning Module

  • Day trip to Montgomery, Alabama to learn more about and experience first-hand the work of the Equal Justice Initiative.

First half of the class focuses on the role of foundations in addressing public problems & the history of the regions of Atlanta. Second half of the class dives into how philanthropic investments are made, how orgs are selected and how gifts are evaluated.


Students take a leadership assessment the second day of class to split up into groups

  • Groups are specific to different regions of Atlanta and each student has a specific role on the team, including:
    • Giving Philosophy Co-leads
    • Site Visit Co-leads
    • Investment Committee Rep
    • Team Historian/Philanthropy Lab Lead
  • Each group is assigned a Community Coach that serves as their point of contact to work closely with the organizations in their region
  • Each group allocates two grants and any other incentive money is decided on as a class

Groups all come up with a team charter and giving philosophy

All students complete a briefing book that summarizes everything worked on from the semester, including:

  • Giving philosophy
  • Nominated grantee candidates
  • Funding decision rationale
  • Recommended funding amounts
  • And if applicable funding restrictions

In 2021, class is partnering with Atlanta’s Center for Civic Innovation to source applicants for student selected grants. The Center for Civic Innovation has worked alongside more than 80 civic leaders throughout Atlanta over the last 5 years to support the start and growth of nonprofit organizations.

The 2021 class featured a number of special guest lectures from leaders at several different key philanthropic and community ecosystem organizations including The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Southeastern Council of Foundations, and others.

Guest Speakers

  • Frank Fernandez, CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
  • Ellen Macht, Donor / Civic Leader, Retired
  • Ed and Barbara Shapiro, Founders, Shapiro Foundation
  • Nathaniel Smith, CEO, Partnership for Southern Equity
  • Wes Longhofer, Professor, Goizueta Business School
  • Rohit Malhotra, CEO, Center for Civic Innovation

Latest News

July 31, 2023

Grant From Emory University’s Philanthropy Lab Allows Us to Make More Introductions in Atlanta

May 18, 2023

Emory Class Featured in Emory Business Magazine!

May 3, 2022

Emory Students Gift Over $85,000 in Grants to 13 Atlanta Nonprofits Through Philanthropy Lab Course

Student Testimonials

You really come out of the experience understanding more about how philanthropy works, how other issue areas are targeted, how best to spend money and resources that are finite.

Hannah JianEmory University