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classes offered

WashU St. Louis Grant Map

Washington University In St LouisFall 2019Philanthropy LabDepartments: SociologyElizabeth George21 students
Washington University In St LouisSpring 2022Philanthropy LabDepartments: SociologyDavid Rigby18 students
Washington University In St LouisSpring 2023Philanthropy LabDepartments: SociologyBarbara Levin, David Rigby12 students

Philanthropy Lab
Taught by David Rigby, Barbara Levin
Department of Sociology

David Rigby is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches courses on Politics, Immigration, Development and Inequality, Statistics, and Research Methods. He received his PhD in sociology from UNC Chapel Hill. David uses quantitative, archival, and computational methods to conduct research into the forces that shape racial inequality—from immigration, to political change, and vulnerability to collective and state violence. He is currently excited about a research project using computational linguistics to measure changes in policy debates within the US Congress.

Before pursuing graduate school, David worked in North Carolina on issues impacting local migrant communities, from wage theft, to local immigration enforcement, restrictive ordinances, housing exploitation, and service provision. He is excited to have the opportunity to get students involved in pursuing local change on pressing social issues in St. Louis.

Barbara Photo

Barbara Levin, MSW, is a skilled and dynamic nonprofit professional with over 40 years of experience leading and managing professional staff and volunteers, creating and executing programs, teaching, consulting, training, facilitating, mentoring, and building coalitions among diverse community partners. She is a demonstrated organizer, systems creator, team builder, and motivator.

In May 2020, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University appointed Levin as a Teaching Professor. She has been on the staff since 2002 as the Program Manager for Community Capacity Building and Field Education, providing structure for Brown’s placed-based initiatives by managing and implementing community initiatives and coordinating the work of graduate students with partnering institutions and organizations in defined settings. As an adjunct professor, Levin taught Community Development Practice and Urban Development Seminar (in collaboration with St. Louis University School of Law, School of Urban Planning and Design, and the Fox School of Design at Washington University) Effective Meeting Management and Community Facilitation, Volunteer Management, and the Integrative Seminar for Field Practicum.  In spring 2023, Levin was asked to co-teach a class on Philanthropy in Sociology Department at Washington University. This course will provide $40,000 in grant awards to four area nonprofits. She is also a qualified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator© administrator.

Levin retired from the University in May 2022. Active in the community, she serves on the board of MaTovuSTL. She is a founding board member and past chair of Nonprofit Missouri, the state’s association of nonprofits. She is the past president of St. Louis ArtWorks and the past Treasurer of the Ferguson Nonprofit Center. In 2022, Levin was recognized by the Community Builders Network for her Lifetime Achievement for work in community development.

Levin has an MSW from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Class looks at the history of philanthropy over the years before looking at current trends in philanthropy

Pull from a community needs assessment to form groups/select organizations

Groups selected based on grantmaking interests and each group drafts a mission and vision statement at beginning of the class

On the day before each guest speaker/panel, students have an assignment to submit questions for the speaker(s)

Guest Speakers

  • Ryan Rippel-Gates Foundation


Latest News

July 31, 2023

Philanthropy Lab course grants $40,000 to local nonprofits

July 31, 2023

Bread & Roses Missouri receives $10,000 gift from Wash U students

June 6, 2023

Philanthropy Lab course grants $40,000 to local nonprofits

Student Testimonials

This course makes philanthropy, fundraising, and giving back in meaningful ways as a college student not only possible, but engaging and exciting.

Bella GomezWashington University in St. Louis