course participants


classes offered

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UniversityCourseStudents Enrolled
Tulane UniversityFall 2015Philanthropy & Social ChangeDepartments: School of Liberal Arts Management MinorMichele Adams23 students
Tulane UniversityFall 2016Philanthropy & Social ChangeDepartments: School of Liberal Arts Management MinorMichele Adams26 students
Tulane UniversityFall 2017Philanthropy & Social ChangeDepartments: School of Liberal Arts Management MinorMichele Adams24 students
Tulane UniversityFall 2018Philanthropy & Social ChangeDepartments: School of Liberal Arts Management MinorMichele Adams24 students
Tulane UniversityFall 2019Philanthropy & Social ChangeDepartments: Department of SociologyMichele Adams31 students

Philanthropy & Social Change
Taught by Michele Adams
Department of Sociology, School of Liberal Arts Management Minor

Michele Adams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. In addition to “Philanthropy & Social Change”, Michele has also taught courses like “Social Theory” and “Issues in Sociology of Family”. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. Currently, she is working on two main research projects. The first is a book project that examines the socio-historical construction of “family values” over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, addressing how movements for women’s rights in each century inadvertently drive competing counter movements promoting marriage and family. The second main research focus is a study of the trajectory of relationships formed through online dating venues, in which she examines changes in gender attitudes and practice as those relationships transition off-line and into long-term face-to-face romantic unions. Her research interests include family, gender, and culture, particularly relating to gender arrangements in families, cultural “family values” wars, relationship formation, marriage, and divorce. Other research interests include parental alienation syndrome and family promotion movements.

Class split into 2 “components”

  • Academic – theory (lectures, readings, etc.)
  • Experiential – practice (group work, analyzing NPOs, site visits, grant making, etc.)

Philanthropic Autobiography #1 and #2

  • A “before and after” of each students’ philanthropic philosophy
  • Autobiography #1 – Students address their current philosophy and experience of giving, drawing on times that they have donated/volunteered. Students also explain values and beliefs about giving and what motivates them.
  • Autobiography #2 – Students then “update” their philosophy and goals, drawing from experiences in the class. Students are also asked to give their opinions on many big questions/debate in philanthropy.

Philanthropy Fridays every Friday for 50 mins

  • Used for guest speakers and group work
  • This satisfies the university-wide “service learning” requirement

Each group determines criteria/important factors and creates decision matrix to evaluate the NPOs

Comprehensive briefing book (30% of grade)

Each group creates a problem statement, mission statement, and values statement

Multiple guest speakers (on topics of fundraising and site visits)

Latest News

September 14, 2020

Learning to give

Student Testimonials

Philanthropy has always been a central motivator for my family and a part of the culture that I have grown up in. For me, [philanthropy] is important because I think in the world that we live in it is important to always give back and make sure we are taking care of ourselves as well as our community; philanthropy is an amazing way to touch the lives of those around us and make the world a better place. This weekend has definitely been a huge learning experience for me and everyone who has come to the Ambassadors Conference. We have been making really tough decisions, so I think we have all learned about doing your due diligence and finding answers to make completely informed decisions. I also learned so much about the great work that people are doing; I think all the organizations at this conference are really amazing and making a huge impact on all of the communities that they serve. It has been inspiring and uplifting to see people making positive change all over the world that we can contribute to.

Erica TaftTulane University