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Measuring the Economic Impact of Foundation Grantmaking

A Joint Project of the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Tax Policy and Charities project, and The Philanthropic Collaborative 

Please join us for a half-day conference explaining the need to quantify and share with policymakers the economic impacts of foundation grantmaking. This series of roundtable discussions will bring together leading minds in the sector and foster in-depth discussions around several pressing topics. 


Making the Case (9:15 – 10:15): Policymakers have long asked other industries to justify their treatment in the tax code. Recently, that same level of scrutiny has been applied to the nonprofit sector. Foundation grantmaking is a huge source of economic growth and job creation, but there are signs lawmakers do not fully understand this impact. 

  • Michael McHugh, The Philanthropic Collaborative (Moderator) 
  • Sue Santa, Council on Foundations 
  • David Cay Johnston, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Syracuse University 
  • Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly 

What We Know (10:30 – 11:45): Foundations make important contributions to the economy, but the field of knowledge on the economic impacts of grantmaking is relatively small. As The Philanthropic Collaborative, Urban Institute andothers uncover these impacts, it is important that researchers know what their colleagues are doing and what methods are most effective. 

  • Gene Steuerle, The Urban Institute (Moderator) 
  • Steve Peterson, University of Idaho 
  • Robert Shapiro, Sonecon, and McDonough School of Business 
  • Rick Clayton, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Focusing Efforts and Moving Forward (12:15 – 1:45): After exploring what we already know, the next step is determining where more research should be done. What information does the sector need to most effectively educate lawmakers and community leaders through the tax reform process? What are the best ways to ensure the information we have is known and used? 

  • John Tyler, The Philanthropic Collaborative (Moderator) 
  • David Hammack, Case Western Reserve University 
  • Michael Moody, Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University 
  • Steve Smith, American University 

RSVP to Jack Peterson at [email protected] 


Date & Time Thursday, July 25, 2013
2100 M Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20037
, DC , 20037
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  • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair