Library Resources for Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration: Johnson Philanthropy Collection

A guide to library resources and websites.

Who is Dorothy Johnson?

Dorothy A. Johnson, for whom the Johnson Collection is named, is a nationally recognized leader in the philanthropic sector. She has also served as president of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF), as a trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and chaired the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees. The collection, named in her honor, serves the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, scholarly research by students and faculty in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration (SPNHA), other academic departments, the University’s Office of University Development, and members of Michigan’s nonprofit and philanthropic community.

Philanthropy and the Johnson Collection

The Dorothy A. Johnson Collection on Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership is one of the most comprehensive collections in the country in the areas of philanthropy, volunteerism, youth philanthropy, service learning, and nonprofit management. It includes materials purchased by the Johnson Center since its inception in 1992, with funds endowed by the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) since July 2000, and it contains many items formerly held in the CMF library, which dates back to 1972. The Johnson Collection is an affiliate of the Consortium of Foundation Libraries. Find the Johnson Center for Philanthropy Collections.

Where is the collection housed?

The Steelcase Library on GVSU's Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids hosts the bulk of the collection. A large selection of reference titles and classics in the field are shelved in an area of the library's reading room devoted to the collection. Other materials can be obtained through the library's automated retrieval system. Rare materials are archived at the GVSU university archive, Seidman House, on the Allendale campus, and may be used at that location.

What's in the collection?

The Johnson Philanthropy Collection includes books, audiovisuals, annual reports, journals, and ephemeral material on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Accountability
  • Accounting for nonprofits
  • Altruism
  • Associations
  • Board training
  • Career opportunities
  • Charitable organizations
  • Civil society issues
  • Community development
  • Endowments
  • Ethics and codes of conduct
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Foundations
  • Fundraising
  • Grant making
  • Grant writing
  • History of philanthropy
  • IRS status
  • Leadership
  • Legal issues for nonprofits
  • Nonprofit and philanthropic effectiveness
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Philanthropists & philanthropy
  • Service learning
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Trusteeship
  • Venture philanthropy
  • Volunteers & volunteer management
  • Youth philanthropy


How do I find items?

Materials held in the collection are searchable using the library's catalog, which can be accessed from any GVSU library and via the internet from the library's website homepage,

You may search for materials within the Johnson Collection by limiting your search by location. Choose the Johnson Philanthropy Collection from the drop down list of library locations directly to the left of the search button in the library catalog.  

  • Last Updated: May 23, 2024 1:18 PM
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