Bernholz is a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society 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. She 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 the volume "Digital Technology and Democratic Theory." Her book "How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us" was published in 2021.
Bernholz 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.