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Class Descriptions

Philanthropy, Evaluation, and Performance Measurement


Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

Pathway Associations

Community Change
Interpersonal Practice
Mgmt & LeadershipElective
Policy & Political
Program EvaluationElective (Host)
Older Adults
Children & Families

Course Description

This minicourse focuses on trends and issues of contemporary philanthropy and their approaches to evaluation to inform allocation models. The ways in which both philanthropic entities and their grantees evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the programming will be explored.


1. Understand the current state of philanthropy issues in the United States, including the difference between operating philanthropies and grant-making philanthropies
2. Identify the different ways foundations approach and use evaluation
3. Address successes and challenges at the intersection of philanthropy and evaluation
4. Apply basic and advanced principles of evaluation to contemporary issues of philanthropic organizations.


The course will use multiple pedagogical methods: short lectures, participatory discussions, written assignments, and small group experiential exercises. Guest speakers may be invited to address special topics.

Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS)

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self-knowledge and self-awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

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