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Doctoral Project Abstract

Philanthropic Leadership: What It Takes To Make a Difference

Gray Keller
Regent University

Traditional wisdom believes great philanthropy comes with big money, lavish fundraising parties, and exclusive benefits for the mega wealthy. But the truth is, great philanthropy requires sound leadership. It demands the best of who you are as a person. Your philanthropic leadership must encompass a holistic approach of your values, beliefs, and relationships in order to make a meaningful difference. As giving has become trendy in recent years due to the attention of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Bono, and other celebrity philanthropists, it is often easy to forget that the true meaning – the etymology – of philanthropy is loving mankind.

Since philanthropy is not centered on money, but rather a dynamic relationship of serving others with love, your leadership requires the highest level of devotion. What private foundations, public charities, and civic organizations need – and what recipients want – are authentic leaders who know who they are, why they desire to serve, and how they can make a sustainable difference. Your ability to engage others at their level, while being open to your own transformation, will give you the necessary character and heart needed to be an authentic giver.  

In Philanthropic Leadership: What It Takes To Make a Difference Gray Keller draws from his own personal experience of what it means to be a philanthropic leader, and from the experience of other philanthropic leaders. Wrestling with the many burdens that giving brings to celebrating the joys of being a blessing, Keller explores the many facets of giving wisely, strategically, and intentionally. From stories of faith to scenarios of the future of philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, social businesses, and philanthropic capitalism emerge as plausible strategies for the next generation of philanthropic leaders. By imploring foresight, discernment, and your own common sense, your leadership journey encompasses a relational approach to living, giving, and thinking.

Finally, this book gives you the necessary tools, leadership exercises, and mental stimulus to apply your own leadership today. By implementing both quantitative and qualitative measurements, you will be better positioned to lead in alignment. If you want to be challenged, then this book stretches you to think outside the box.


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