A panel of speakers addresses an audience.



PhilanthropyMatters focuses on the "who, how and what" of philanthropy. This programming accentuates the ASU Lodestar Center’s role as a regional, national and global knowledge leader in nonprofit and philanthropic themes.

Logo for Philanthropy Matters.



April 2024

West Coast Nonprofit Data Conference panelists discuss funding and data.

Funders’ Perspectives on Nonprofit Data

As part of the 2024 West Coast Nonprofit Data Conference, hosted by the ASU Lodestar Center in April, we presented “Funders’ Perspectives on Nonprofit Data.” Representing a diverse set of views from across the funding landscape, panelists shared how they think about data and its use to inform grantmaking decisions and evaluate results. They included Jon Ehlinger, president of the Garcia Family Foundation; Erin Goodman, senior program officer for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust; and David Martinez III, director of capacity building and community engagement for Vitalyst Health Foundation. Kim Covington, Arizona Community Foundation’s vice president of community initiatives, served as moderator.

Diagram explaining the how, who, and what of Philanthropy Matters.

Programmatic Overview

PhilanthropyMatters was developed to continue advancing the Center’s Philanthropy portfolio. This programming accentuates the ASU Lodestar Center’s role as a regional, national and global knowledge leader in nonprofit and philanthropic themes, building on its growing reputation as the “go to” resource for those seeking understanding about philanthropy and its effective practice.

1 | Philanthropy Forums and Summits

The Center hosts convenings on topics of great interest to the philanthropic sector. These events range in size from intimate salon gatherings to large-scale events. Speaker are nationally- or internationally-renowned and will draw attendees from across the field of philanthropy. The Center also partners with various other stakeholders to create leading-edge programming and promote dialogue on contemporary topics that demand discussion by those in the field.

2 | Philanthropic Research

The ASU Lodestar Center fills a unique research niche as a philanthropic center located in the southwestern United States. The ASU Lodestar Center is developing signature research projects in conjunction with other university partners.

For more information about PhilanthropyMatters, please contact Jill Watts, Director of Capacity Building Initiatives, at 602-496-0189 or by email at jill.watts@asu.edu.

A panel of speakers on a stage.

Dr. Robert Ashcraft, Executive Director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Board Chair of the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, introduces the panelists at the January 12, 2017 event "U.S.-Mexico Philanthropy: Expectations and Opportunities for 2017."

Small image of a pdf file.

PhilanthropyMatters focuses on the "who, how, and what" of philanthropy. Click on the thumbnail image above to view a PDF diagram of how these elements are handled in this program.

Previous events

Trends in Philanthropy

April 2024

What is known about giving in Arizona? This presentation by the ASU Lodestar Center's director of research, Dan Hunting, included a summary of national trends in philanthropy that reveal gaps in understanding of their implications for the nonprofit sector in our state. It was part of the ACF Connects Forum from the Arizona Community Foundation on April 18, 2024.

Dan Hunting presents at ACF Connects
Lucy Bernholz

How We Give Now, featuring Lucy Bernholz

May 2022

On May 24, 2022, we hosted a virtual event with Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D. Lucy is a senior research scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, where she directs the Digital Civil Society Lab. She is the author of the new book "How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us," highlighting that today's philanthropy is more than writing a check and claiming a tax deduction.

CommYOUnity Solutions – Philanthropy for Social Impact

October 2019

How do we stop managing problems and begin co-creating real, innovative solutions to our community’s biggest challenges? ASU Lodestar Center Executive Director Robert Ashcraft facilitated the discussion with two panelists: David Bornstein, New York Times writer and CEO and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, which works to establish solutions journalism — rigorous reporting that examines responses to social problems — as an integral part of mainstream news; and Jeff Snell, Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sr. Fellow for Social Innovation at the ASU Lodestar Center and founder of Midwest Social Innovation LLC, where he provides leadership to social enterprise models.

Speakers at the October 2019 PhilanthropyMatters event.

Strategic Philanthropy Accelerator – The Philanthropy Workshop

January 2019

In partnership with The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW), an internationally renowned leader in philanthropic education, the ASU Lodestar Center provided content to engage participants in discussion to better understand the role of philanthropy in implementing place-based strategies to solve complex social problems. To conduct this exercise, the Center developed a case study based on the “Maryvale One Square Mile Initiative,” a new endeavor by ASU that focuses on this geographic region just west of downtown Phoenix. Center Executive Director Robert Ashcraft facilitated the group’s analysis of the case and approaches based on the TWP framework of a “philanthropic roadmap.”

Philanthropy Workshop and PhilanthropyMatters logos

From Passenger to Driver: Women Driving Bold Philanthropy

October 2018

Debra Mesch, professor of philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, opened the event with a presentation on the latest research about women's giving. Amy Gibbons, who retired as president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, moderated a panel conversation on philanthropy with three women: Juanita F. Francis, president of the F2 Family Foundation; Jackie Norton, president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation; and Cindy Watts, who co-founded Sunstate Equipment and in 2018 made a $30 million gift with her husband, Mike, to ASU's public service college, which was renamed the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Panelists at an October 2018 PhilanthropyMatters event

Rusty Stahl: Why Everyone Should Invest in America’s Nonprofit Workforce

March 2018

Rusty Stahl, the founder, president and CEO of Fund the People, delivered the keynote at the 19th Annual Forum on Nonprofit Effectiveness in Tucson, Arizona. His thesis: Our communities, environment and economy all benefit when nonprofit leaders have the support to not just survive, but to thrive, and investing in the nonprofit workforce is the best thing we can do to increase performance and impact across the social sector. It is also a matter of ensuring social justice within the very organizations that work for social justice out in the world, Stahl argued. The talk was presented in partnership with the ASU Lodestar Center's PhilanthropyMatters programming.

Rusty Stahl at the 2018 forum

Impact Through Philanthropy

February 2018

Attendees learned about new research by ASU that explores the “Social Return on Investment” of nonprofits in Arizona. This research breaks down results produced by nonprofits into the things we care about — like healthier communities, more educated populations and sustainable environments — and shows how these outcomes contribute to benefits like civic engagement and job development. Speakers included Dr. Anthony Evans of the L. William Seidman Research Institute, WP Carey School of Business; Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D., of the ASU Lodestar Center; Kristi Tate of the Center for the Future of Arizona; and Dr. Raquel Gutierrez of Vitalyst Health Foundation.

Panel group at February 2018 PhilanthropyMatters event

Achieving High Impact Philanthropy

November 2017

The evening featured a keynote presentation by Katherina Rosqueta, the Founding Executive Director for the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. Kat Rosqueta shared key insights culminating from 10 years of research at the prestigious center she founded. The evening also featured a panel conversation between Kat Rosqueta, Terri Wogan Calderon, the Executive Director and Partner of Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ) and Jacky Alling, the Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Arizona Community Foundation.

Panelists at a November 2017 PhilanthropyMatters event

U.S.-Mexico Philanthropy: Expectations and Opportunities for 2017

January 2017

The first event was a partnership with the U.S. Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership. It explored challenges and opportunities for collaboration amongst donors and nonprofits in the border region and featured José Antonio Aguayo, Deputy Consul, Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix; Dr. Robert Ashcraft, Executive Director, ASU Lodestar Center; Claudia Jasso-Stevens, Board Member, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona; Hon. Amanda Aguirre, Former State Senator and President, Regional Center for Border Health, Arizona; Lucila Murguia de Arronte, Founder, Fundación Integra / Executive Director, Junta de Asistencia Privada, Chihuahua; Francisco Fernandez Jaramillo, Board Chair, Fundación del Empresariado Sonorense, Sonora; Enrique Díaz Rivera, Board Member, Fundación Tichi Muñoz, Sonora; and Lisa Urias, Board Member, Arizona Community Foundation.

Border Philanthropy Partnership panelists in January 2017