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Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.

Lucy Bernholz is a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) and Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Hybrid Reality Institute, and the New America Foundation.

Lucy is the author of numerous articles and books, including the annual Blueprint Series on Philanthropy and the Social Economy, the 2010 publication Disrupting Philanthropy, and her 2004 book Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She is a co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies (2016, Chicago University Press) and of the forthcoming volume Digital Technology and Democratic Theory. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, and policy on her award winning blog,

Lucy studied history and has a B.A. from Yale University, where she played field hockey and captained the lacrosse team, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Posts by Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.

Digital Civil Society Around the World

This post is part of a series of excerpts from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, the ninth annual industry forecast from Lucy Bernholz.

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Predict-a-palooza: Civil Society Forecast 2018

Podcast: An expert panel and our virtual audience forecast the most important trends and challenges facing digital civil society in 2018.

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Closing Civic Space in the Digital Age

Lucy Bernholz, Chris Worman, Mandeep Tiwana, Wilneida Negrón, and Dan “Blah” Meredith discuss the role of digital resources in shaping civic spaces.

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Digital Impact: Reflections from New York City

The Digital Civil Society Lab welcomed 80 civil society leaders to the Digital Impact World Tour convening in New York City on October 23. Given the depth and breadth of the academic and civic tech communities in New York, the panel discussions were particularly illuminating. Throughout the previous eight global conversations we have convened this year around the “possibilities […]

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Digital Impact: Reflections from Brisbane

On July 29 More than 100 Australian social sector leaders spent a beautiful Saturday in Brisbane discussing the possibilities and responsibilities of digital civil society. Several themes dominated the day: the importance of the “people” part of digital data, the ways digital technologies can highlight and even amplify existing social disparities, and a clear enthusiasm […]

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Digital Impact: Reflections from Brussels

The European leg of the Digital Impact event series kicked off in Brussels on 13 June. Not surprisingly to those who follow EU policy, the emerging European digital policy landscape permeated the day’s discussions. We were fortunate to have participants and speakers from digital rights groups and corporate policy offices to share insights on the […]

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Digital Impact: Reflections from Beijing

With support from the Ai You Foundation, Digital Impact Beijing brought together 140 participants from Chinese nonprofits, foundations, corporate social responsibility programs, and universities. The opportunity to learn with and from networks of nonprofits in China – with its rapidly developing nonprofit sector and its singular digital culture – was exciting. The nonprofit and foundation […]

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Digital Literacy: A Core Capacity for 21st Century Nonprofits

Over the last twenty years nonprofit organizations have gotten steadily better at financial management, communications, and evaluation. For many organizations these are now core capacities. Such changes were driven by several factors, and in turn have informed and helped drive the impact investment movement, social media for good efforts, and collective evaluation and evidence-based decision […]

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Reflections: Transforming the Sector in Toronto

After the Data on Purpose / Do Good Data conference at Stanford, the Digital Civil Society Lab kicked off a yearlong series of convenings around the globe to learn from civil society leaders creating social impact in the digital age. Toronto was our first stop, where we partnered with Powered By Data, the Ontario Trillium […]

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That’s Not Privacy: An Update

This month I checked back in with Micah Sifry to learn about the status of the That’s Not Privacy campaign, which MFG covered in May. Here’s what I learned (the following is an edited version of an email exchange): Micah, it has been about six months since the campaign launched. How is the That’s Not Privacy campaign going? […]

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