Global Philanthropy Course

This two-day executive course is designed specifically for experienced executives seeking to acquire knowledge, cutting-edge insights and data about global philanthropy for development that could help them navigate the "global development galaxy" in the era of Agenda 2030. The course is co-organized by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy at University of Geneva, and the OECD Centre on Philanthropy.

About the course

Global philanthropy holds significant promise in the 21st century. Across geographies there is a growing interest in the role of the charitable sector. Recent years, however, have seen an evolution in philanthropy and its role in global development.

Recent data reveals that  foundations are important actors in development, and in some sectors like health and education, philanthropic giving ranks amongst the leading sources of funding, next to multilateral organizations and bilateral donors.

The philanthropic sector is also witnessing increased professionalization, moving away from traditional charitable giving, to more sophisticated strategies following principles from venture capital, impact investment and other business models, and in some cases, pursuing grand objectives, in the realm of policy and system-change. These shifts are attracting media attention, and creating expectations about philanthropy’s potential to contribute to change around the world.

Despite the growing significance and interest in global philanthropy, until recently, remarkably little was known about the volume, nature and potential of philanthropy to tackle complex challenges in developing countries. Furthermore, while foundations’ presence in developing countries creates opportunities for new forms of partnerships, there seems to be a limited understanding of foundations’ motivations and partnering behaviours among other development actors, such as governments, multilateral and bilateral development agencies or non-governmental organisations.

What you will learn

Through case studies, interactive faculty presentations, guest speakers, and small-group discussions, you will explore a variety of issues at the intersection of philanthropy and development. This program will help you:

  • Understand the behavioral, social, economic and demographic trends that have resulted in the rapid emergence of global philanthropy
  • Review and unpack data on philanthropic flows (types of foundations, thematic and geographical focus and priorities, implementation channels) and compare it to other sources of funding for development, such as Official Development Assistance (ODA)
  • Explore new cutting-edge approaches to philanthropic giving, including venture philanthropy and impact investing
  • Reflect on the current political, legal, regulatory, and tax environment for global philanthropy, including the incentives and barriers for philanthropy throughout the world
  • Explore fresh perspectives and evidence on how organizations can further engage with foundations in developing countries, and the entry points for partnering

Who is the course designed for?

This course is designed specifically for seasoned executives (with at least 7-10 years of professional experience) seeking new ways to influence and effect change within their organizations:

  • Representatives from bilateral and multilateral official development agencies who partner, or would like to partner, with foundations
  • Government officials that deal with legal, regulatory or tax policies that affect philanthropy
  • Nonprofit leaders working with philanthropic organizations
  • Private sector company executives engaging with philanthropic organizations or through their companies’ CSR


We encourage candidates to apply as early as possible, as we have limited space. We admit candidates on a rolling basis until May 2020. Although the program has no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on your professional achievements and organizational responsibilities.


$1,400 USD

Includes all tuition, course materials, daily lunches, one dinner and networking opportunities.


For more information on the course, please contact Cathie Carrigan at