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The Puzzle of the DC Region's Modest-Size Foundation Sector in a Wealthy Area

Alan Abramson
Sep 17, 2014  |  Washington, DC

Alan Abramson of George Mason University's Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy, and co-author Stefan Toepler, present the findings of their research. Members of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers respond.

Moderator: Tamara Copeland, President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers


  • Rose Ann Cleveland, Executive Director, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • Jeffrey Slavin, Vice President, Sanford & Doris Slavin Foundation, Inc.
  • Shelley Whelpton, Managing Director, Arabella Advisors

Audience: This program is geared toward grantmakers, grantseekers, and nonprofit observers.

About the speakers:

Alan Abramson is a Professor of Government and Politics in the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University, and Founding Director of George Mason University’s Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy.

Alan is also currently a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute and an Affiliated Scholar at the Urban Institute.

For more than a decade, Alan directed the Aspen Institute’s nonprofit program, overseeing the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund and other initiatives that helped to build the nonprofit research field in the U.S., strengthen nonprofit and foundation leaders, and deepen the understanding of policymakers about nonprofit activities. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Alan was on the research staff of the Urban Institute, where he worked on a variety of domestic public policy issues.

Alan received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and his B.A. from Wesleyan University. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and articles, and his work has twice won awards from the American Political Science Association. Alan has also been named among the 50 most influential leaders in the U.S. nonprofit sector.

Stefan Toepler is Associate Professor of Nonprofit Studies in the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University. Stefan is also Affiliated Faculty with GMU's Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy.

Prior to this Stefan was Associate Research Scientist on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, where he taught nonprofit theory and policy and worked on several research projects, including the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project.

Stefan received his doctorate in business and economics from the Free University of Berlin, where he held a DFG scholarship in the graduate college of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies.

This program was supported by the Meyer Foundation and was part of Foundation Center–Washington DC’s 50th anniversary.

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