CFUnited 2018 Featured Speakers

Dr. Franklin was appointed in June 2015 as the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, to which he brings a background in grantmaking and donor education, nonprofit strategy and leadership, social entrepreneurship, and community organizing and advocacy. As holder of the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy, he engages in research, teaching, service, and thought leadership to explore and advance the field, nationally and internationally. This includes work exploring (1) how we give better together through networks and vehicles for collective giving and (2) how we strengthen our giving practices to communities we care deeply about, both place-based and communities of identity. He is a leading voice in the field on issues of collective giving, social justice philanthropy, and broader trends in charity and social change and a regular commentator in the media on these topics in publications ranging from the New York Times, ABC News, and Wall Street Journal to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, NonProfit Times, Alliance Magazine and more.

In addition to his work as the Kellogg Chair, Dr. Franklin is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy & Civil Society and a strategic advisor to the Peterffy Foundation and several individual donors. He serves as board chair of the Proteus Fund, co-founder and co-chair of the Solidaire Donor Network, and on the boards of WiserGiving and the Michigan Alliance. He is also an advisory board member of the Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy Program, Amplifier, Our LGBT Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and the Movement Voter Project. He is a member of the Democracy Alliance, Threshold Foundation and their High Impact Documentary Funding Circle, and WINGS: Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support where he co-chairs their Academic Affinity Group.

Prior to his appointment as the Kellogg Chair, he served as Executive Director of Bolder Giving, an organization that inspired people to give big & take more risks with their philanthropy and which was credited by Melinda Gates as an inspiration for the billionaire Giving Pledge. He received his PhD in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he also held an appointment for ten years as an award-winning adjunct professor teaching about philanthropy and social change. He has also previously worked for the 21st Century School Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership Network housed at NYU’s Research Center for Leadership in Action, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and White House Office of National AIDS Policy. An active impact investor and serial social entrepreneur, he co-founded Oregon Students Supporting Education, the Multnomah Youth Commission, IAM LLC (an urban brownfield development firm that won the 2004 Goldman Sachs Global Social Venture Competition), Give OUT Day, the New York Social Justice PAC, Funding Queerly, and the Solidaire Donor Network. He has been recognized as one of the top young leaders in philanthropy by the Chronicle of PhilanthropyNew York ObserverGrand Rapids Business Journal, and Advocate Magazine and for his commitment to social justice philanthropy with the New York Urban League’s Ann Kheel Award and the Shirley Chisholm Light of Freedom Award from Community Voices Heard.

James Kane is considered the leading researcher and authority on what makes someone truly loyal – to another person, to an organization, or to a cause.

As a behavioral scientist and consultant who has helped some of the largest and most well-know organizations in the world, including Apple, Amazon, Zappos, the Cleveland Clinic, Marriott International, and Major League Baseball build nearly unbreakable relationships with not only their clients and customers, but with members, fans, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and employees, as well, James reveals the science behind the real human emotion called loyalty, and what anyone can do to receive its benefits.

The author of two upcoming books, The Loyalty Switch and Virtually Loyal, James has worked with every major industry, while advising and training organizations around the world ranging from Global 1000 giants to small, regional companies. As one of the most quoted and
profiled authorities on loyalty in the traditional mainstream media, James has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the BBC, and numerous other global and industry publications. He has taught at both Harvard and Penn State University and is a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC and FOX Business, which credits him as being “one of the best experts in the business.”

Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at, formerly