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
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?