course participants


classes offered

Michigan Grant Map

UniversityCourseStudents Enrolled
University of MichiganFall 2011Philanthropy and Higher EducationDepartments: EducationJohn Burkhardt13 students
University of MichiganFall 2012Philanthropy and Higher EducationDepartments: EducationJohn Burkhardt27 students
University of MichiganFall 2013Philanthropy and Higher EducationDepartments: EducationJohn Burkhardt17 students
University of MichiganWinter 2014Philanthropic Foundations in the Public ArenaDepartments: Public PolicyMegan Tompkins-Stange22 students
University of MichiganFall 2014Philanthropy and Higher EducationDepartments: EducationJohn Burkhardt13 students
University of MichiganWinter 2015Philanthropic Foundations in the Public ArenaDepartments: Public PolicyMegan Tompkins-Stange26 students
University of MichiganWinter 2016Philanthropic Foundations in the Public ArenaDepartments: Public PolicyMegan Tompkins-Stange15 students
University of MichiganWinter 2018Philanthropic Foundations in the Public ArenaDepartments: Public PolicyMegan Tompkins-Stange22 students

Philanthropy Foundations in the Public Area
Taught by Megan Tompkins-Stange
Department of Public Policy

Megan Tompkins-Stange has taught at the Ford School of Public Policy since 2011. Her research and teaching interests center on the influence of private sector and philanthropic actors within the nonprofit sector, particularly the focus on the role of private philanthropic foundations in the field of public education. Other projects examine how foundations manage advocacy-related activities in the context of legal regulations, and how funders played a central role in the creation and diffusion of management organizations within the charter school movement in the United States. In addition to Philanthropic Foundations in the Public Arena, Megan teaches courses like Public Management of Nonprofit Organizations, Values and Ethics, and Qualitative Methods. Megan is one of the Ford School’s faculty representatives to the Faculty Steering Committee of the Nonprofit and Public Management Center. She received her Ph.D. in Education Policy and Organizational Studies from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.

Final paper – designing a foundation

  • Mission statement, funding structure, focus areas, strategic plan, evaluation procedures, stakeholder relationships

3 reflective papers

Online engagement

  • Each week, students must complete a set of readings and post any thoughts, questions, concerns or insights online in a brief comment in advance of class

Robin Hood case study activity – measuring impact

“Class Celebration” at Professor’s house instead of Giving Ceremony


Latest News

September 14, 2020


September 14, 2020

Op-Ed: Altruism in philanthropy

September 14, 2020

Into the Classroom: A Lesson on Philanthropy and Economic Inequality

Student Testimonials

Giving a grant of $50,000 placed a sense of duty upon our class to do things ‘right’ – to act as a foundation and morally find ways to advocate for social justice.

John YimUniversity of Michigan

This course totally flipped my views upside down as we looked at the role foundations play in our society. Through this class, I learned to be more critical of philanthropy as well as see it as a tool to make long-lasting, sustainable change.

Hannah LeeUniversity of Michigan

The most challenging part of the Ambassadors Conference was presenting. It is really stressful when you are presenting on behalf of an organization you are so passionate about to a group of people who are not familiar with the area that it might serve if it is local and an organization you have spent an entire semester getting to know and possibly funding through your class. Presenting that information has been challenging, but was fun in the end since we were able to fund some really great organizations. My favorite part of the Ambassadors Conference was meeting so many different people and learning about the values everyone brings to the table for philanthropy. I enjoyed learning what others value throughout the process and having that simulated board-room experience where you are talking about your values but you also have to make decisions throughout the process. It was really cool to have that simulated aspect of the conference.

Charlie CallisUniversity of Michigan