Peter Frumkin is Professor of Social Policy & Practice and holds the Mindy and Andrew Heyer Chair in Social Policy. He is Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy and Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program. His research and teaching focus on philanthropy, nonprofit management, and social entrepreneurship.
Frumkin has written articles on all aspects of philanthropy, including the formulation of grantmaking strategy, the changing profile of major individual donors, theories of philanthropic leverage, the professionalization movement within foundations, and other topics. His book, Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2006. It has been touted by reviewers as the “benchmark text for the field” and “the most penetrating exploration of contemporary philanthropy now available.” He has lectured on philanthropy at meetings of grantmakers in the U.S. and abroad, and served as a consultant to foundations and individual donors on strategy and evaluation.
Frumkin is the author of Building for the Arts (co-authored with Ana Kolendo; University of Chicago Press, 2014), which considers the management challenges associated with the recent cultural building boom in America. Frumkin’s On Being Nonprofit (Harvard University Press, 2002) won the best book award from the Academy of Management’s public and nonprofit section. This book considers the changing roles and responsibilities of nonprofit organizations in American democracy and the evolution of public policies shaping the sector’s growth. He has also authored numerous articles on topics related to nonprofit management, including ones focusing on compensation policies in nonprofit organizations, the effective deployment of volunteers, the impact of fundraising strategies on nonprofit revenue generation, nonprofit accountability systems, and the effects of public funding on nonprofit mission definition.
In 2010, two books by Frumkin were published: Serving Country and Community co-authored with JoAnn Jastrzab (Harvard, 2010), which examines the effectiveness of the national service programs AmeriCorps and VISTA, and The Essence of Strategic Giving: A Practical Guide for Donors and Fundraisers (University of Chicago Press, 2010), which provides a roadmap for how to improve the effectiveness of philanthropy. The Strategic Management of Charter Schools (Harvard 2011), which Frumkin co-authored with Bruno Manno and Nell Edgington, develops a systematic way of thinking about and handling the many management challenges associated with starting and sustaining a charter school.
Prior to coming to Penn, Frumkin was Professor of Public Affairs and Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. Before academics, Frumkin worked as a foundation program officer, a nonprofit manager, and as a program evaluator in both nonprofit and public agencies. Frumkin received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.