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Robert T. Grimm Jr.

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Professor of the Practice; Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership; Director, DGI

Bob Grimm serves as the Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership in the School of Public Policy (SPP) and the founding Director of the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland (UMD). Dr. Grimm works with an incredible team that empowers individuals to do good. The University of Maryland Board of Regents awarded Grimm their 2021 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in Public Service for Do Good’s impact. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Public Affairs, and Public Administration (NASPAA) similarly recognized Do Good with its inaugural Voinovich Public Innovation Prize. 

Started with two courses (2010) and a Do Good Challenge prize competition (2012), thousands of students participate annually in Do Good Campus programs and courses today while changing the world for good. For example, Do Good students enable thousands of families to stay safe and avoid hunger during the pandemic, change mental health accessibility and female menstrual product accessibility on campus, recycle and supply medications to tens of thousands, reduce water pollution, and eliminate over a hundred million pounds of food waste. Grimm served as the Founding Board Chair of the Food Recovery Network, which UMD students built into a national nonprofit and then launched two successful companies, Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Foods. A new building for SPP and the Institute opens in 2022 with a Do Good Hall of Fame and Do Good Plaza that features inspiring UMD efforts.

Grimm’s research on philanthropy, volunteering, nonprofits, and civic engagement has been featured in The Washington Post, New York Times, MSNBC, Fast Company, and Bloomberg. Grimm co-authored a widely-cited article on “The New Volunteer Workforce” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, articles in Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, and a book on American philanthropists. Invited to testify at the first hearing of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, the Congressional Commission focused on the Institute’s research on the decline of charitable behaviors.

Grimm served as Senior Counselor to the CEO and the Director of Research & Policy Development at AmeriCorps, which annually invests approximately one billion dollars in innovative nonprofits. Grimm received senior appointments from both President Bush and President Obama’s administrations and co-led the creation of President Obama’s Social Innovation Fund. Grimm expanded AmeriCorps’s annual research funds from $2 million to $10.5 million and developed the first social capital and civic data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Grimm earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University. Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy awarded him its 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. An Iowa native, Bob and wife Laura have one daughter named Astrid.


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