Programs by Campus


Philanthropic Studies



Core Courses

  • PHST-P521 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
    Students examine issues of why people organize, give, and donate time; theories of the sector; policy formulation in the sector, etc., with the objective of becoming “philanthropically literate.” The preferred first course in the M.A. program.
  • PHST-P524 Civil Society in Comparative Perspective
    The course explores the relationship of civil society to the state, how the nonprofit sector affects the state, and how the state regulates the sector. A continuing theme is how and whether the state and philanthropic institutions make civil investments in strengthening civil society.
  • PHST-P535 Law of Nonprofit Organizations
    This seminar examines aspects of the legal regulation of nonprofit organizations. Topics include the formation, operation, and governance of nonprofit organizations, duties and liability of officers and directors, charitable solicitation, tax-exempt status for public benefit and mutual benefit organizations, charitable contributions, political activities, foundations, membership organizations, and religious organizations.
  • PHST-P556 Grant Making and the Role of Foundations
    This course explores questions of legitimacy, effectiveness, and accountability among U.S. philanthropic foundations. Students will explore the role of foundations in society, how roles are successfully fulfilled, how role fulfillment is measured, and what current trends in foundation philanthropy might mean for the future of local and global philanthropy.
  • PHST-P558 Principles and Practices of Fundraising
    The course covers the salient aspects of the fundraising process as organized carried out by nonprofit organizations – its base of core values, preparing a case for philanthropic support, relevant techniques and strategies, assessing potential sources of support, effective engagement of human resources, and process management. The course includes relevant theory to undergird practice, examination and analysis of current practice, proposal of practice standards, and discussion and examination of ethical problems in fundraising.
  • PHST-P590 Internship/Directed Off-Site Study
    A course for the advanced student of philanthropy. Students work 10 hours per week for a nonprofit organization, applying knowledge gained in earlier
    courses to practical situations. Requirements include a journal and a substantial paper.
  • PHST-P515/HIST-H516 History of Philanthropy
    This course examines traditions of giving and receiving charity and philanthropy in the modern era. It takes a comparative approach to giving including different historical contexts and traditions. Among the topics covered will be donor motivations, definitions of need, identity formation, and philanthropy, politics and social change.
  • ECON-E514/PHST 530 Nonprofit Economy and Public Policy
    Students examine the role of nonprofit organizations (universities, churches, hospitals, orchestras, charities, day care, research, nursing homes) in mixed economies. Public policy controversies such as regulation of fundraising, antitrust against universities, ‘‘unfair’’ competition with for-profit firms, and the tax treatment of donations are considered.
  • PHIL-P542/PHST 532 Ethics and Values in Philanthropy
    This course reflects an inquiry into the ethics and values of philanthropy rooted in a general understanding of philanthropy, as voluntary action for the public good, as an ethical ideal. Students consider philanthropic activity in light of this ideal.

Elective Courses

  • PHST-P518 History of International Humanitarian Assistance
    This course covers the history of international humanitarian assistance during the 19th and 20th centuries. Its focus is on the movements and activities that developed in wealthier countries (Europe and the U.S.) during this period which attempted to help those in other lands in need of assistance (e.g., food, shelter, medical care). These needs arose from a variety of causes, both natural and man-made, such as famine, flood, epidemics, earthquakes and volcanoes as well as wars and government oppression. The responses took many forms, governmental and non-governmental, in a world that underwent very dramatic changes during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • PHST-P527 Cross-Cultural Dimensions of Philanthropy
    Examines cross-cultural research on philanthropy and pursues critical inquiry into the historical and cultural implications of philanthropy. The course focuses on the diverse system of giving and serving within philanthropy traditions in the United States and around the world.
  • PHST-P534 Gender and Philanthropy
    This course provides a broad overview and deeper understanding of giving and volunteering by gender from multiple perspectives, and how this knowledge can be applied across the nonprofit sector today. As the 21st century unfolds, nonprofit practitioners – whether CEO, fundraiser, board member, or volunteer – and donors must recognize that neither philanthropy nor fundraising follow a one-size-fits-all format. Woven throughout this curriculum are examples of how women exercise their power and influence in philanthropy.  
PHST-P530 Variable Topics
  • PHST-P530 Donor Motivation and Planned Giving
    This course will develop students’ understanding of the motivations and behaviors of high net worth individuals, and their ability to plan effective strategies for donor identification, cultivation/education/ engagement, solicitation, and stewardship in support of major and planned gifts. Special attention will be paid to the law offundraising regarding major and planned giving as well as ethical standards of practice.
  • PHST-P530 Institutional Fundraising
    This course examines various types of institutional donors (corporations, foundations, federated organizations, etc.) and the design and implementation of effective fundraising strategies to engage them. Revenue generation from alternative sources of income (i.e., venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship) will also be explored to enhance students’ understanding of the changing dynamics of the fundraising landscape.
  • PHST-P530 Community Foundations
    The course will begin with a history of community philanthropy in the United States and the forces affecting community philanthropy today. We will then explore the implications for the management of community philanthropic organizations, with a specific focus on: 1) revenue structure, including the management and use of endowments and program related investments, 2) donor engagement and donor advised funds, 3) community engagement, and 4) governance and strategic transformation. The course is conducted in a hybrid format.
  • PHST-P530 Philanthropy Ethics–East and West
    This course provides a graduate-level introduction to philanthropy ethics in comparative perspective, focusing on China and the United States. In addition to their in-person classes, students from Indiana University and selected universities in China will engage in discussion via Course Networking.
  • PHST-P530 Religion and Philanthropy
    This course explores three relationships between people’s religious traditions and their philanthropic ideas and activities: 1) how diverse religious traditions have shaped distinctive philanthropic practices, 2) how political, economic and social forces have structured religious philanthropy, and 3) how competing visions of good lives and a good society have played out in the give and take of religious philanthropy. In examining the normative models of giving and service through a variety of religious traditions, we will analyze how religious narratives, practices, teachings and authorities have shaped people’s generosity and humanitarianism. In studying religious philanthropy in particular historical contexts, we will explore how religious philanthropy has been influenced by secular states and market economies, transforming religious traditions and communities along the way. In observing the tensions between the purposes of givers and takers, we will locate religious philanthropy in the world of social action to assess claims about the uniquely selfless, altruistic, or civic nature of religious philanthropy.
  • PHST-P530 The Equity and Effectiveness of Philanthropy
    What do we know about the experience of receiving help? What is it like for someone to walk in the door of a homeless shelter, a legal aid clinic, or a job training program and ask for help? How much do we really know about the experiences of those who motivate us to start a nonprofit, donate money, or volunteer time? While we have spent a lot of time studying those who give and the experience of those giving, we know far less about the experience of those receiving this help. This course draws on literature from anthropology, sociology, social psychology, and political science to examine the experience of receiving help. We will tease out when giving help is effective, why it’s often ineffective or less effective than it could be and then consider the implications for nonprofit management and public policy.
  • PHST-P530 Philanthropy and Public Policy: The European Context
    The study-abroad program provides students with a first-hand learning experience in philanthropy and public policy. Students will have the opportunity to learn from German and Dutch professors, researchers, policy-makers, and leaders from the nonprofit sector. Students will visit state and federal agencies, local nonprofit organizations, think tanks, and philanthropic foundations.
  • PHST-P530 Altruism and Health
    Does giving lead to better living? Or is caring wearing? What are the psychological and physical health consequences of prosocial versus more self-interested traits and behaviors? This course examines how extremes of self and other-focus affect both psychological and physical health outcomes.
  • PHST-P530 Racial Equity Philanthropy
    This course will cover giving traditions of various ethnic groups and examine current practices in the philanthropic field through a culturally-responsive lens. An examination of the histories of these groups and their struggles for representation, validation, and justice will undergird the journey through relevant literature and scholarly works.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.