Biographical Information

Robert T. Grimm, Jr. is the Levenson Family Chair in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and the Director of the Do Good Institute (DGI).    

In September 2016, UMD announced $75 million in new public-private commitments to create the Do Good Institute and make it the catalyst for UMD to become a Do Good Campus. DGI, housed in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, is a campus-wide hub that provides education, opportunities and resources to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders, social innovators and civic-minded students and alumni. The Institute serves as the catalyst to transform the University of Maryland into the nation’s first Do Good Campus, where students are inspired to take action and spur innovations and solutions to today’s issues.

Dr. Grimm previously served as Senior Counselor to the CEO (2006-2010) and the Director of Research and Policy Development (2004-2010) at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an organization that directs AmeriCorps and annually invests approximately one billion dollars in grants to innovative nonprofits. Dr. Grimm received senior appointments from both President Bush’s and President Obama’s administrations, co-lead the creation of the Social Innovation Fund, and previously taught and directed research at what is now the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Dr. Grimm’s research on philanthropy, volunteering, civic engagement, and social capital have been featured in prominent in places such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today. Dr. Grimm’s published research includes a prominent cover article on “The New Volunteer Workforce” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review; articles in journals including Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management; a book on the philosophies and approaches of American philanthropists, and a recent article in Nonprofit Quarterly

As the Director of Research and Policy Development, Dr. Grimm expanded CNCS’s annual research funds from $2 million to $10.5 million. Overall, he directed over $30 million in program evaluations and research studies. Dr. Grimm also led the creation of the U.S. government's first, regular data collection on social capital with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau through Volunteer and Civic Engagement supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS).  Bowling Alone author Robert Putnam characterized his research efforts as a “landmark in civic renewal.”    

Dr. Grimm received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. He also received the 2010 Young Alumnus Award from Monmouth College. He currently serves or has served on the board of directors or advisors for the Washington Area Women’s Foundation (Board Treasurer), Food Recovery Network (Founding Board Chair, 2012-2016), Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, National Conference on Citizenship, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, National Mentoring Partnership, and America’s Promise. A native of Iowa, he and his wife Laura have a daughter named Astrid.