New Academic Center for Philanthropy Unveiled

Philanthropy expert Joel Fleishman inaugurated the opening of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School of Brandeis University with a standing-room only lecture calling for family foundations to become more transparent and accountable, while also crediting them with nurturing and empowering social change such as the environmental revolution, women’s rights, and the civil rights movement.

Fleishman, a former trustee at Brandeis and professor of law and public policy at Duke University, praised the Sillerman Center for targeting family foundations, helping them become more effective, accountable, and strategic in their philanthropy.

Sillerman said the inspiration for the center grew out of his Brandeis education during the tumultuous Vietnam era. “We became the generation that responded to things by not saying yes or no, but why,” said Sillerman, describing the growth of social conscience and activism synonymous with the sixties.

“This center will be the culmination of what an education in the sixties was,”
said Sillerman. “I don’t know if we’ll change the world, but if we play a small part in changing the conscience of my generation and the generation behind me, we will have done something.”

The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University is committed to strengthening and increasing philanthropy that advances social justice — the philanthropy that can make a tangible difference in the lives of vulnerable groups and others disconnected from the economic and social mainstream. As an academic center, we are committed to expanding knowledge in philanthropy through education, research and knowledge-based action and influencing social policies.

Another activity will be to develop case studies for use in teaching philanthropy that will be widely available to institutions of higher education and form the basis for advanced executive education for those in the field.

As a graduate of a program in Non-Profit Management, involved in the world of philanthropy, and concerned about training our next generation of leaders, a hearty welcome.

source: Brandeis press release;
Sillerman Center web site