Ph.D. (expected 2018) Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Philanthropic Studies
M.J. (2001) Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Business Law
B.A. (1992) Rutgers University, Music
Ruth Hansen, CFRE is a Lecturer in the Department of Management at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA. She is a doctoral candidate and recipient of the Ernest R. Wood dissertation fellowship at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Ms. Hansen’s research focuses on fundraising and resource development for nonprofit organizations. Her dissertation examines fundraising communications for different types of beneficiaries.
Ms. Hansen is an experienced charitable fundraiser and is a former board member and officer of the Chicago chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Her work has been published in Giving USA and in Advancing Philanthropy. Her practical experience, coupled with graduate education in business law and in philanthropic studies, contributes to a solid preparation for students seeking careers in management, particularly in nonprofit settings.
Ruth K. Hansen is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's College of Business and Economics. She has more than 20 years’ professional experience as a fundraiser, and has developed and taught professional development workshops on ethics in fundraising. At UW-W, she teaches the Foundations of Nonprofit Organizations undergraduate course, Organizational Behavior, and Business Ethics & Social Responsibility.
Dr. Hansen is fascinated with the dynamics of organizational mission, resource availability, and helping others. Specifically, her research focuses on the practice of fundraising, popular support for unpopular causes, and policy affecting charitable organizations.
Her dissertation, The Role of Stigma in Writing Charitable Appeals, uses a dramaturgical framework and mixed research methodologies to examine how fundraisers write appeal letters for nonprofits that serve groups of clients with different levels of perceived stigma. It incorporates issues of perception and decision making, communication and persuasion, and social and personal identities.
A recent project, “Gary Neighborhood House: Managing Mission and Uncertainty in the Civil Rights Era,” will be included in the upcoming volume, Hoosier Philanthropy, due out in 2019.
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
A dissertation fellowship based on: substantive contribution to knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior; emphasis on understanding ethical approaches; methodological rigor; and applicability for donors, grantmakers, or fundraisers.
Do Fundraising Appeals Contribute to Social Polarization? Identifying Causal Mechanisms.
Avner Ben-Ner, Lehn Benjamin
Reports suggest that Americans are increasingly polarized and less tolerant of differences. This polarization is evident in everything from the politics in Washington to the proliferation of extremist groups. Although nonprofits are often associated wit...
Science of fundraising: A meta-review of studies using experimental methods in fundraising
This paper extends the review of literature conducted by Lindahl & Conley (2002) and Bekkers & Wiepking (2011) focusing on mechanisms and practices driving charitable giving. We analyze 186 articles in fundraising using experimental methods from the perio...
A Penny for Your Thoughts: How do Fundraisers Think about Clients and Donors When Writing Appeals?
Intentional communication is essential to fundraising: it defines relationships between askers, givers, and beneficiaries. But most fundraising research focuses on donor behavior, without considering the type of beneficiary, or fundraisers’ discretionary...
Unpopular: Examining the Role of Client Stigma in Writing Charitable Appeals
How does social acceptability of a client population – or its absence – affect how fundraisers craft appeal letters? Research on fundraising often focuses on donor behavior, without considering the type of the beneficiary and the discretionary decisions ...
Do Fundraisers Write Different Appeals for Stigmatized Groups?
Professional Fundraising: Longevity, Effectiveness, and Vocational Satisfaction
T.S. Austin, J. Goodwin, T.H. Jeavons, D. King, S.K. Nathan, H. O’Connor, P.M. Rooney, G. Shaker, E.R. Tempel
Building Knowledge: Positioning Nonprofit Programs in Institutions of Higher Learning
C. Brunt, R. Long, P.M. Rooney, P.C. Weber
Discretion is Key: Some Factors in Fundraisers' Interpersonal Communications with Donors
Scholarly literature on philanthropic giving abounds, and many studies consider fundraising choices at an organizational level, but scant attention has been paid to the active interpersonal role of the fundraiser in communicating with donors. Practitione...
Civil Rights, Urban Renewal, and the Final Years of the Gary Neighborhood House
Neighborhood House, established 1909, was the first social service organization in the city of Gary, Indiana. As Gary evolved into a city facing racial segregation, crime, and labor struggles, Neighborhood House adapted to needs and resources within its ...
Measure for Measure: Capturing Generosity in Volunteering
Richard Steinberg, Barbara Duffy, Yuan Tian
We develop two indices for measuring individual generosity in volunteering, based on the notion that generosity is higher when the volunteer makes a larger (gross) sacrifice. Generosity is volunteer time divided by available time, and the measures