Austin Detwiler

Austin Detwiler works for American Philanthropic, a consulting firm whose mission is to strengthen civil society by improving the effectiveness of charitable foundations and nonprofit organizations. Previously he was the Assistant Director of the Matthew J. Ryan Center at Villanova University, as well as an adjunct professor in their Augustine and Culture Seminar Program. His expertise includes grant writing, strategic planning, and donor communications. He serves on the boards of Martin Saints Classical High School and the Charlotte Mason Educational Center, and is a founding director of the Philadelphia Catholic Scholars Program.

Austin has a master’s degree in theology from Villanova University and bachelor’s in Philosophy and Political Theory from the Templeton Honors College. He lives with his family in Conshohocken, PA.

Reach Austin at

strategic development plan, planning, best of times, worst of times
A tale of two nonprofits

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … and it was a strategic development plan that made all the difference.

Belongingness in an age of woke philanthropy

Elise Westhoff’s stance on woke philanthropy from the helm of The Philanthropy Roundtable carves out space for donors who want to oppose today’s “woke” fads.

Donor intent and religious education

Questions around abuse of donor intent make their way to high schools, in a new lawsuit about a $1.35 million pledge to a Catholic school in Florida.

Privacy, not efficiency, in Supreme Court’s latest donor disclosure case

SCOTUS protects donor privacy over “efficiency.” Some worry that this enables more “dark money” in politics.

Ceding focus, gathering attention

MacKenzie Scott is finding her way as a generous philanthropist, which is good to see. There are some wrinkles to iron out.

Good news for donors who only get bad news

The new Center for Civil Society will help donors support their communities, without becoming overwhelmed by options or paralyzed by “impact.”

New bill to reform charitable giving introduced to Senate

The Institute to Accelerate Charitable Giving gets legs as Senators Grassley and King introduce the “Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act.”

Much ado about … student loan debt

Conversations about student loan debt need to look at more than just the staggering “total amount.” The Peterson Foundation offers a start with “10 key facts” about student loan debt.

communications, cheesy
Cheesy fundraising doesn’t have to be cheesy

Motivating donors to give isn’t easy. You need to connect money to mission, but you also need to give donors a reason to act. That might require some cheese.

Efforts to reform charitable giving should be cautious

The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable giving is not without merit, but it does little to accelerate charitable giving.