Stanford Continuing Studies

Winter 2019


Saturday, March 16
10 am - 4 pm
Register online here

In an era of great political division, many of us have felt a growing responsibility to increase our civic engagement, whether through taking leadership positions in our communities or advocating for better policies on issues we care about. After decades of decline in civic participation, a wide variety of new civic-minded groups and organizations are also emerging. These range from organizations that support young people in developing their voices as social-change advocates, to weekend gatherings designed to discuss and debate civic issues, to festivals intended to make the act of voting more accessible and celebratory.

This one-day workshop will review the research behind the decline in civic participation over the past decades and highlight innovative efforts to reverse this trend. The seminar will include case studies and guest speakers from leading nonprofits and philanthropic foundations working to promote civic engagement and foster dialogue across the ideological spectrum. The workshop is designed for those thinking about how to best direct their volunteer efforts, work with their schools or nonprofits, or otherwise support efforts to increase a stronger culture of citizenship. Participants will learn about the most promising new strategies and models being utilized to rebuild a more fully robust and inclusive democracy.


Christine’s past courses with Stanford Continuing Studies include Giving Wisely, The Secrets of High-Impact Nonprofits, Building Strong Leadership in Nonprofits, Philanthropy in the Age of Innovation, and Philanthropy 2017: New Politics, New Realities. Read more about each course below.

Philanthropy 2017: New Politics, New Realities

This fall, Christine returned to Stanford Continuing Studies to teach a new course entitled "Philanthropy 2017: New Politics, New Realities." Since the November 2016 election, America has witnessed a dramatic shift in its political climate and policy priorities. The course explored the ways in which nonprofits, philanthropists, and the general public have mobilized resources and developed an organized response on a variety of issues ranging from immigration and environmental protection, to health care and civil rights. Guest speakers included Rebekah Saul Butler (Andy Grove Foundation), Mary Enright and Eiten Fenson (Indivisible), John Silver (New Mexico Fund), Amanda Stanley (Compass), and Kenji Treanor (Sobrato Foundation).

Philanthropy in the Age of Innovation

Last year, Christine returned to Stanford Continuing Studies with “Philanthropy in the Age of Innovation,” a day-long workshop focused on new approaches to strategic giving. Incorporating concrete tools and resources, a variety of case studies, and a panel of guest speakers, the seminar explored smart ways to track impact, grantee-centric practices, the latest thinking on spend-out foundations, techniques for leveraging due diligence, emerging issues attracting new philanthropic attention, and high-impact nonprofit models. The class was aimed at foundation trustees and staff, advisors, and nonprofit teams of all experience levels.

Building Strong Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations

Christine taught a day-long seminar in March 2016, adapted from her five-week course on nonprofit leadership. The class, “Building Strong Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations,” drew on interactive exercises, case studies, and guest speakers to explore the importance of supporting and cultivating strong leadership in the nonprofit sector.

The Secrets of High-Impact Nonprofits

In January 2014, Christine showcased her winter class titled “The Secrets of High-Impact Nonprofits.” This seminar examined the changing landscape of the nonprofit sector and explored the business and management tactics of successful organizations. The class was supplemented by an expert panel of leaders in the field of philanthropy, offering insights on a range of questions from how to find the best board members to whether crowdsourcing can be an effective form of fundraising. It is designed for nonprofit management teams, executive directors, trustees, volunteers, funders, and all those who would like to be active in the nonprofit sector.

Giving Wisely: Practical Steps to Make the Most of Your Charitable Dollars

For several years, Christine taught an introductory course on the philanthropic sector, entitled “Giving Wisely.” The class typically has run one evening a week for five weeks during the fall quarter and is available to residents of the Bay Area who have an interest in the field of nonprofits. The course served as an introduction to the sector, using case studies of foundations who have developed well-regarded strategies, tools for assessing how to select nonprofits to support, and a range of other practical information designed to improve donor knowledge and skill. The class has attracted donors of all experience levels.