Our Mission

The mission of Thought Provoking Films is to inspire and stimulate critical thought and discussion of important issues for civil society through the production and distribution of documentary films.

Salvatore Alaimo

Salvatore Alaimo

Founder and Executive Producer

Salvatore Alaimo is the founder and President of Thought Provoking Films (TPF Productions, LLC). He produced his first film, a feature length documentary entitled What is Philanthropy?, that enhances our understanding of the concept of giving and its role in our lives and American society. It was an official selection of four film festivals, broadcast twice locally on PBS and released in 2017. His most recent film, Sew What?, a short documentary about the Caregivers Sewing Group, was an official selection of  five film festivals and broadcast three times locally on PBS affiliate WGVU. It is available to view for free with captions here.

Alaimo is a Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in philanthropy and nonprofit administration for 15 years. Professor Alaimo has published book chapters/entries in:

  • The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership
  • Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice
  • Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: A Reference Handbook
  • Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management
  • International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

He also published journal articles in:

  • International Journal of Community Well Being
  • New Directions for Evaluation
  • Journal of the Grant Professionals Association
  • Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership
  • International Journal of The Image

      Professor Alaimo has guest lectured at three universities in China including Beijing Normal University, Beijing Normal University-Zuhai, and East China Normal University in Shanghai. He is a Fulbright Scholar, having received the Fulbright-Masaryk Award in Nonprofit Management and spent six months in the Czech republis where he taught graduate courses, conducted research on Czech nonprofits and made presentations for the U.S. Embassy.

      He has 9 years’ experience working at nonprofit organizations including the United Way and the Girl Scouts and has also occasionally consulted for nonprofits  for over 20 years including the National Benevolent Association, the University of Georgia, Georgia Ballet, International Rescue Committee, United Way, MOKA, and Latin American Association among others.  Alaimo also worked in various businesses for nine years including a financial information services company, a bus company, a record company, and a hardware supply company. He earned his Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University, his M.S. in Urban Studies from Georgia State University, and his B.S. in Business Administration at Ramapo College of New Jersey.