Strategic direction and Progress Report

Educate, empower, connect

The ASU Lodestar Center is a self-supporting Center of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University. Its support, in accord with its business plan, is generated by income earned through delivery of its programs and services as well as philanthropic gifts and grants.

The Center is a key resource for nonprofits, the people who work and volunteer with them, and their supporting philanthropists. Its offerings -- focused on increased leadership, management effectiveness and impactful philanthropy -- integrate knowledge generated by academic faculty, its own applied research, and best practices gleaned from study throughout the world.

The quality of life in communities is enhanced by the presence of a vibrant nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Today’s nonprofit organization must be efficient by innovatively engaging and leveraging its philanthropic relationships, earned income, and other valuable resources in order to achieve the greatest impact in accomplishing its mission. The ASU Lodestar Center helps nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers gain the skills they need to thrive in today’s global environment.

Core values and principles

  • Collaboration: Empowering and leveraging resources to strengthen communities and increase impact.

  • Creativity: Generation and dissemination of knowledge based on a leading-edge, innovative, and transformational culture.

  • Excellence: All services of the Center are of the highest quality.

  • Inclusiveness: Respecting, valuing and intentionally engaging diverse cultures, perspectives, and abilities.

  • Trust: Demonstrating integrity, transparency, accountability and ethical principles as a commitment to public value and the common good.


  • Community Engagement: The Center will provide networking opportunities for stimulating thought and dialogue about effective nonprofit practices, philanthropy and volunteerism.

  • Education: The Center will review and improve all professional development offerings and inform academic education curricula to assure their currency, relevancy, scholarship, and quality in both content and delivery.

  • Research: The Center will include a high quality research program with a multi-disciplinary approach that serves end-users and ensures that its offerings are based upon sound, current and relevant knowledge.

  • Organization Capacity Building: The Center will develop and provide education and training, focusing on innovation and best practices that further build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and help them achieve their missions and visions.

  • Leadership: The Center will be a catalyst for personal and community support of the nonprofit sector, recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in developing a greater understanding of philanthropy through nonprofit research, education and capacity-building.