Skip to main content

Robert T. Grimm Jr.

Back to Faculty & Staff
Professor of the Practice; Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership; DGI Director

Robert Grimm is the Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and director of the Do Good Institute. Grimm's research on philanthropy, volunteering, nonprofits, civic engagement and social capital has been featured in prominent outlets, such as The Washington Post and New York Times, including a recent MSNBC interview and Fast Company article on the decline of American charitable behaviors.

Grimm testified at the first public hearing (covered by C-SPAN) of the bi-partisan National Commission on Military, National and Public Service created by Congress; his written testimony outlines the Do Good Campus model and DGI research report findings (Good Intentions, Gap in Action and Where Are America’s Volunteers). Grimm is an author of a widely-cited article on “The New Volunteer Workforce” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review; articles in journals such as Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly and the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management; a book on American philanthropists.

Grimm served as senior counselor to the CEO (2006-2010) and the director of research and policy development (2004-2010) at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which directs AmeriCorps and annually invests approximately one billion dollars in grants to innovative nonprofits. Grimm received senior appointments from both President Bush and President Obama’s administrations, co-lead the creation of the Social Innovation Fund, and previously taught and directed research at what is now the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. As the director of research and policy development, Grimm expanded CNCS’s annual research funds from $2 million to $10.5 million. Overall, he directed over $30 million in program evaluations and research studies. Grimm led the creation of the U.S. government's first, regular data collection on social capital with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau through  volunteer and civic engagement supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Bowling Alone author Robert Putnam characterized his research efforts as a “landmark in civic renewal.”    

Grimm received his PhD from Indiana University and the 2010 Young Alumnus Award from Monmouth College. He served on the board of directors or advisors for the Food Recovery Network (Founding Board Chair), Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and National Conference on Citizenship. An Iowa native, he and his wife Laura have a daughter named Astrid.

Areas of Interest
  • Nonprofit management & leadership; philanthropy; social & civic innovation; nonprofit sector