Frey Foundation Chair for Family Foundations and Philanthropy

The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Foundations and Philanthropy is the nation's first endowed chair focusing on family philanthropy. 

Family foundations and other family donors play an essential and expanding, yet often unheralded, role in enhancing the quality of human life in communities nationwide. More than 37,000 family foundations provide critical assistance to America’s 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, supporting their programs in health care, education, human services, religion, arts and culture, the environment, and other areas. 

The Frey Chair works with a network of national advisors and partners to implement a comprehensive program of applied research, teaching, professional development, and public service, all designed to advance and promote the field of family philanthropy in the United States.

The Frey Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, is one of Michigan's largest family foundations. Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations primarily in western Michigan for programs and initiatives to enhance children's development, protect natural resources, promote the arts and expand philanthropic civic action. The Frey Foundation was established in 1974 by Edward J. and Frances T. Frey.

National Summit on Family Philanthropy

Family Summit Photo

The Johnson Center National Summit on Family Philanthropy is a biennial meeting unlike any other in the field of family philanthropy. The Summit is an interactive, productive gathering of current and next generation family donors, as well as staff, advisors, and researchers who strive to help families become more effective philanthropists. In June 2013, family donors from around the country convened in the vibrant philanthropic city of Chicago for the second National Summit and discussed a poignant theme for philanthropic families: the future.

Visit the 2013 Summit website to learn more about this candid, peer-to-peer dialogue about the changes in philanthropy and changes in families that shape the future of family philanthropy.

The next Summit will take place on June 15-16, 2015 in New York City and will allow the opportunity for candid conversations around the theme of collaboration in family philanthropy. More information will be available soon. 

Next Gen Donors


The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy, in partnership with the New York-based consulting group 21/64, released this report which provides an in-depth study of next generation donors, those who are inheriting an unprecedented $40 trillion and are poised to be the most significant philanthropists in history. This first-of-its-kind research examines the next generation of major donors and studies this crucial group directly, rather than summarizing what others think about them.

The combined effort for this project aims to:

  • Reflect back to these donors what we hear them saying about themselves in order to help them become more proactive donors, stewards, grantmakers, and agents of social change;
  • Encourage and inform conversations among multiple generations involved in philanthropy today and in the future; and
  • Help those who seek to engage and assist these next gen donors to do so in more effective and productive ways, to inspire them and help them make change.

The report looks to start a conversation with and about #nextgendonors. Visit the #NextGenDonors website to learn more about the conversation and download the full report.

The Frey Chair

Michael Moody

In July 2010, Michael Moody, Ph.D., joined the Johnson Center as the Frey Foundation Chair for Family Foundations and Philanthropy.  

Before coming to the Johnson Center, Moody was president of Moody Philanthropic Consulting based in Richmond, Va., providing research and writing, project development, advising, and related services. His clients have included the Council on Foundations, The Philanthropic Initiative (Boston), Social Venture Partners International, The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California, and various local nonprofits and donors.
Moody has been working to understand and improve philanthropy for over 20 years. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University, he was one of the first employees of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University where he helped develop the Jane Addams Fellows program. He went on to receive a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in sociology from Princeton University, with a research focus on philanthropic giving and nonprofit organizations.

Read Dr. Moody's full bio >>

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