course participants


classes offered

UT Austin Grant Map

UniversityCourseStudents Enrolled
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2012The Art of GivingDepartments: PhilosophyPaul Woodruff32 students
University of Texas, UGSFall 2012Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton51 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2014Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton43 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2015Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton49 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2016Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton18 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2017Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton51 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2018Philanthropy: The Power of GivingDepartments: Undergraduate StudiesPamela Paxton51 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2018Philanthropy and Nonprofit OrganizationsDepartments: Liberal Arts HonorsPamela Paxton18 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2019Philanthropy and Nonprofit OrganizationsDepartments: Liberal Arts HonorsPamela Paxton18 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2019Investing in PhilanthropyDepartments: McCombs School of BusinessLaura Starks, Meme Drumwright24 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2020Investing in PhilanthropyDepartments: McCombs School of BusinessLaura Starks, Meme Drumwright34 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2020Philanthropy and Nonprofit OrganizationsDepartments: Liberal Arts HonorsPamela Paxton18 students
University of Texas, UGSSpring 2022Philanthropy and Nonprofit OrganizationsDepartments: Liberal Arts HonorsPamela Paxton

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations
Undergrad Class Taught by Pamela Paxton
Department of Liberal Arts Honors

Pam Paxton is the Linda K. George and John Wilson Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in economics and sociology and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has consulted for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Academies. She has intersecting research interests in pro-social behavior, politics, gender, and methodology. She is the author of articles and books on social capital, nonprofits, women in politics, and quantitative methodology. Her research has appeared in a variety of journals, including the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Comparative Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. With Melanie Hughes and Tiffany Barnes, she is the co-author of the 2020 book, Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective. She is also an author of Nonrecursive Models: Endogeneity, Reciprocal Relationships, and Feedback Loops (2011). Her chapter, “What Influences Charitable Giving?,” appears in the 2020 publication, The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, third edition. Her current research uses funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service to explore how use of emotion in nonprofit mission statements can increase both donations and volunteers.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations
Grad Class Taught by Matt Stephenson
Department of Liberal Arts Honors

Matt Stephenson is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Code2College (https://code2college.org), an Austin-based nonprofit that places high school students, who are mostly Black, brown, and girls, into paid software engineering internships before, not in lieu of, pursuing undergraduate STEM degrees. In 2016, Code2College launched as a pilot in two schools serving 30 students. Four years later, Code2College has served over 1,000 minority and low-income high school students from across Central Texas. After making a pivot to a virtual program model in March 2020, Code2College accelerated its national scaling efforts and now operates its skills-based volunteer program model in over a dozen markets including Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Charlotte, Houston and several other high-potential, underinvested regions.

Matt started his career in K12 education as a high school math teacher, and later a Leadership Fellow, at Achievement First in New Haven, CT. Next, he joined NewSchools Venture Fund as an Associate Partner and venture investor in high-performing education organization. He then joined KIPP Austin Public Schools, a public school district serving nearly 5,000 students across nine schools and two campuses, to serve as Director of Finance and also provide assistance to the Talent Recruitment team. Prior to his career in K-12 education, Matt was a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs as well as an Internship Program Manager for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), where he was able to help 93% of the interns in his cohort to receive full-time job offers from their host firms. Matt holds a M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and a BS in Finance and Information Systems from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Matt enjoys spending time with his Co-Founder (his wife) and his two children. Matt’s a Soccer Dad and occasional skateboarder when his kids are up for it.

Minette (Meme) Drumwright is director of the interdisciplinary Communication and Leadership degree, UT Austin’s only undergraduate leadership degree. She has a joint appointment on the faculties of Advertising and Public Relations (Moody College of Communication) and Business, Government & Society (McCombs School of Business.) Before joining the U.T. faculty, she was on the Marketing faculty of the Harvard Business School. Her research and teaching are in the areas of ethics, leadership, corporate social responsibility, communication for nonprofit organizations, and investing in philanthropy. Her research has been published in a variety of journals including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and Journal of Media Ethics. She is co-chair of the Bridging Disciplines Program in Ethics and Leadership, a faculty fellow of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, a member of the Steering Committee of the Texas Ethics Project, and an author and Advisory Board member for Ethics Unwrapped (http://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/.) She recently has led in the creation of an undergraduate minor in Communicating for Development and Philanthropy, which will begin in Fall 2020. She has won numerous teaching awards including the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, the Moody College Teaching Excellence Award, the Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies, and the McCombs Elective Course Teaching Award. She earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Laura Starks is the Co-Executive Director of Social Innovation and the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair in Finance at McCombs School of Business. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on environmental, social and governance investing, global financial strategies, and other finance topics. She has previously served as interim Dean, Associate Dean for Research, Chairman of the Department of Finance and Graduate Advisor. She was also an editor of the Review of Financial Studies from 2008-2014 and has won a number of research and teaching awards in her career.

Her current research focuses on mutual funds, corporate governance institutional investors and environmental, social and governance investing. She has served on the Boards of Directors of the four national academic finance organizations: the American Finance Association, the Financial Management Association (FMA), the Society of Financial Studies (SFS) and the Western Finance Association (WFA). She is past president of the FMA and WFA and is currently President of the SFS.

She is a past Chairman of the Graduate Assembly for the University of Texas at Austin, the elected faculty council that governs the University’s graduate programs, and served on the Executive Committee of the University Faculty Council. She is an independent director for CREF Retirement Accounts and TIAA-CREF Mutual Funds, serves on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute, and the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council. She has also served on the 2013 Strategy Council and the 2014 Expert Panel for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund (the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world).

MBA Class —

Each student submits brief write-ups of readings/class activities as reflective exercise

Multiple guest speakers:

  1. Panel #1
    1. Carmine Salvucci, Chief Development Officer, Communities in Schools of Central Texas
    2. Emily Doran, Director of Principal Gifts, Moody College of Communication, UT Austin
    3. Meeta Kothare, Managing Director, Social Innovation Initiative, Impact Austin participant
  2. Jeff Swope (class donor) – Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of Champion Partners
  3. Keith Waggoner – Excellence in Giving
  4. Matt Stevenson, Code2College (largest grant recipient in 2019)
  5. Madison Gove, Program Manager, Social Innovation Initiative (phil lab note — And 2019 Ambassador!)
  6. William Cunningham, Professor, formerly President, UT-Austin & Chancellor, UT System
  7. Darren Walker, Executive Director, Ford Foundation (in large auditorium)
  8. William McNabb, former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Vanguard Crum Auditorium
  9. Panel #2
    1. Wynn Rosser, Ph.D. – President & CEO of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation
    2. Ellen Temple – Board member, T.L.L. Temple Foundation
    3. Hannah Temple – Board member, T.L.L. Temple Foundation; Board chair, Breakthrough

Undergraduate —

Each student has to find three organizations that meet the goal of the groups – each group then starts with ~9 organizations

Three classes dedicated to understanding Form 990

Class has an “Argument Against Nonprofits” discussion

Spend one full class planning two-year evaluation

Only students who attend class “regularly” get to vote on final funding allocations

  • Give to a max 3 organizations


Latest News

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Budding Philanthropists Give $100,000 to Five Charities

Student Testimonials

I can say with certainty that this class had a true, lasting impact on my life. To call it a unique experience is an understatement in every sense of the word.

Maclean MartinUniversity of Texas at Austin

This course completely changed the way I think about the power and responsibility that wealth carries. Most importantly, I learned that the choices you make with your money aren’t neutral - they can create great good, but they can also hurt if done thoughtlessly.

Ben WallaceUniversity of Texas