When Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen first started teaching a philanthropy course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2000, she quickly discovered she was a pioneer in the field. There were just a handful of case studies on the topic and few, if any, teaching materials, she says. As a result, it took her about a year-and-a-half to design the curriculum for it.
Ten years later, the landscape has drastically changed. Arrillaga-Andreessen has since published 25 case studies about philanthropy. This fall she will publish a book entitled Giving 2.0, which she hopes will serve as a resource for students engaged by the topic. Interest in her class has surged at Stanford and she now offers an undergraduate course, too. Says Arrillaga-Andreessen: “Almost every year, I’m oversold.”
She’s not alone. Today, dozens of MBA and undergraduate programs teach philanthropy as an academic subject, exposing students to both the art and science of giving. Some schools—including Stanford, Columbia Business School, and the Boston University School of Management—teach entire courses focused solely on the topic, while others weave philanthropy into the curriculum of social-enterprise courses. The topic appeals to business students because many may wish to serve eventually on the boards of nonprofits or become philanthropists themselves, professors at those schools say.
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