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Uncle Sam and Aunt Betsy:  Can Government Funding Help Your Fundraising?

 Leigh N. Hersey, PhD

This research examines the impact of government funding on private giving for nonprofit organizations in the Memphis metropolitan region. Results indicate that both revenue streams play an important role for continued funding of a nonprofit organization. Suggestions are provided to help nonprofit leaders initiate this conversation with their board and donors.


Understanding the Nonprofit Workforce: Human Resource Practice in the Mid-South

Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, PhD, and Susan T. Schmidt, MPA

This research provides a baseline examination of compensation, employee recruitment, and hiring trends of nonprofits in the Mid-South region.  Comparisons are made among organizations based on size of staff.  National benchmark data and 990 reporting data are also used for further understanding of the complex issues facing human resource practice in the area.


Nonprofit Organizational Response to Economic Uncertainty

Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, PhD; and Susan T. Schmidt, MPA

Recent economic conditions have had a direct impact on nonprofits:  contributions decreased for some organizations by as much as 51% in 2009 while at the same time the demand for services was increasing.  Results from a three-year panel survey investigating organizational response to these conditions is presented.  Cutback strategies, fundraising strategy adjustments, and changes in the use of volunteer labor are all considered.  Research also addresses who is involved in decision making processes regarding these choices.


The Role of Volunteers for Funding Decisions (fall 2011)

Laura Harris, PhD; Leigh N. Hersey, PhD, and Jessica Harman, MPA Candidate

Based on a survey distributed in Spring 2011, this research studies the role volunteers have in local nonprofits’ funding decisions.  More and more, grant making organizations are using volunteers to determine program funding recommendations relying upon program document reviews and site visits.  This research addresses questions on how volunteer teams make decisions based upon the information received and the impact of volunteer experience, program or issue knowledge on funding recommendations.


MPAs with a Nonprofit Concentration: What are Graduates Doing? (fall 2011)

 Leigh N. Hersey, PhD; Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, PhD; and Susan T. Schmidt, MPA

This research takes a snapshot of graduates from the U of M program, identifying where they are now and how they are contributing to the community. Early results suggest that most of the graduates who were interested in nonprofit management during their studies have continued with a career in the field. Additionally, these graduates show steady progression in their jobs, suggesting they are well-prepared for these careers. Lastly, most of the graduates stay in the Memphis region, continuing to impact the local community in positive ways. The results of this research are anticipated to provide helpful information to hiring organizations regarding the graduates’ job readiness and commitment to making a difference in Memphis.


Public Service Motivation in Fundraising Professionals (under review)

 Leigh N. Hersey, PhD

Why do people choose to be fundraising professionals? This research explores this question, building on the principles of public service motivation theory. Many fundraising professionals use skills valuable to the for-profit sector - skills like marketing, communications, sales, and interpersonal skills – to raise private donations for their nonprofit organizations. What motivates them to use their skills in a nonprofit setting rather than in a for-profit setting?

Our mission is to promote effective philanthropy, advance nonprofit leadership practice, and strengthen the nonprofit sector through education and research.

The Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership works in conjunction with the Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration, a unit in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, College of Arts and Sciences.

Contact Us:

Leigh N. Hersey, Ph.D.
Director of Research
130 McCord Hall
(901) 678-1754

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Division of Profit and Nonprofit Administration | 134 McCord Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-3368
Last Updated: 1/23/12