The Johnson Center is proud to be the home of multiple first-of-their-kind Chairs and fellowships, each of which work in service to the field of philanthropy nationwide.

These unique roles bring new insight, research, and learning experiences to the field. Similar to our other services and learning resources, they focus on ways in which new ideas and research can be put to use in the everyday work of professionals in the field.

Featured Projects

  • Family Summit on Philanthropy: The National Summit on Family Philanthropy is a biennial meeting unlike any other in the field of family philanthropy. It is an interactive, productive gathering of current and next generation family donors, as well as staff, advisors, and researchers who strive to help families become more effective philanthropists.
  • NextGen Donors: In partnership with 21/64, we released this report which provides an in-depth study of next generation donors, those who are inheriting an unprecedented $40 trillion and are poised to be the most significant philanthropists in history. Learn more at
  • Our State of Generosity: Three of our fellows supported this special initiative, which launched in 2014. Our State of Generosity is an online platform that captures and shares Michigan’s philanthropic history. Learn more at

 Frey Foundation Chair for Family Foundations and Philanthropy

The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Foundations and Philanthropy is the nation’s first endowed chair focused on family philanthropy. More than 37,000 family foundations provide critical assistance to America’s 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, supporting their programs in health care, education, human services, religion, arts and culture, the environment, and other areas. The Frey Chair plays a key role in mapping this growing area of philanthropy. The current Chair, Michael Moody, Ph.D., is actively engaged with national partners to lead research, professional development, teaching, and other efforts that strengthen family philanthropy.

W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair

The W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair is the nation’s first endowed chair focusing on community philanthropy. The Chair focuses on establishing a creative, comprehensive program of research, teaching, service, and thought leadership designed to explore and advance the field of community philanthropy, nationally and internationally. The W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair is a national thought leader and practical resource for the community, including community foundation leaders, corporate philanthropy directors, individual philanthropists, nonprofit executives, and public officials.


We offer three fellowships for undergraduates, graduate students, and teaching faculty at Grand Valley State University. These fellows work on special projects of the Johnson Center, such as Our State of Generosity, and also complete original research to benefit the field of philanthropy. Learn more about our fellowships and the work of past fellows.