Separation of Church & Philanthropy: Does Doing Good Require Religion? (GR)

Join us for "Separation of Church and Philanthropy: Does Doing Good Require Religion?" to examine philanthropy’s increasingly important role in society as we debunk some myths, and explore the differences in religious and secular giving. Our discussion will focus on how we can enhance the role of secular humanism in philanthropy, learn from our religious counterparts, and expand the space for secular contributions to society.

Salvatore Alaimo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in nonprofit administration, including a graduate course he developed in program evaluation. His research interests are in the areas of evaluation, volunteer management and contract management. Dr. Alaimo has published several book chapters and a journal article in New Directions for Evaluation that was republished in 2010 in The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership. He is currently producing a documentary entitled What is Philanthropy? that intends to enhance our understanding of the concept of philanthropy and its role in American society.

Dr. Alaimo previously taught nonprofit management courses as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He has nine years experience working at nonprofit organizations including the United Way and the Girl Scouts, and has also consulted ten years for nonprofits including the National Benevolent Association, the University of Georgia, Georgia Ballet, International Rescue Committee, United Way, and Latin American Association among others. Dr. Alaimo earned his Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University and his Master’s degree in Urban Studies, concentrating in Nonprofit Administration, at Georgia State University.

Lauren Spangler is a first year graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program at Grand Valley State University, focusing on non-profit management and leadership. Lauren also has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Grand Valley, and is currently focusing on studying the sociological impacts and implications of philanthropy in the United States.

We host local and national Lecturers to speak on many different topics including: science, religion, philosophy, social issues, politics, atheism, humanism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, evolution, morality and ethics, secularism, rationalism, psychology, and others.

  • Meetings are open to the Public
  • Cost: $6.00 general admission (pay at event) OR Free for Friends of the Center.
  • After the meeting, join us at Vitale's Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize.
  • Contact: Jennifer Beahan, [masked],[masked]

RSVPs are NOT required (but sometimes helpful) for attendance at our events. Average attendance at Lectures is 40-90 people.

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  • Jennifer B.
    Assistant Director, Center for Inquiry–Michigan, Organizer
    Event Host
  • A former member
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