College of Business and Economics

Who We Are

In preparing our students to contribute meaningfully to society, the UW-Whitewater Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies provides a forum for the promotion of nonprofit management studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and within the larger community. Its aim is to encourage research, expand educational opportunities, and grow technical assistance capacity to support the nonprofit sector in the region. The Institute contributes to the College of Business and Economics (COBE)'s nonprofit management studies program in its support of community engagement, student development, and faculty research.

The Nonprofit Institute Advisory Committee provides leadership and guidance in curriculum development and internships in our nonprofit management studies program as well as programming for the Institute. Committee members engage with program staff on a regular basis, that is at least monthly to provide input on program development and promotion, ongoing collaborative research projects, and funding opportunities. Membership in the Advisory Committee includes community leaders from the nonprofit sector, and faculty and administrators from nonprofit management and philanthropic studies programs across the USA.  Our 2022 Advisory Committee members are:

  • Ann De Tienne, UW-W Alumni, former Food Distribution Manager, Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Payton Jones, UW-W Alumni, Coordinator, Resource Development, United Way Dane County
  • Anne Katz, Executive Director, Arts Wisconsin
  • Katharine Kuznacic, UW-W Alumni, Executive Director, Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Bryce Lord, Associate Director, Helen Bader Institute
  • Kevin O'Leary, President and CEO, O'Leary and Anick
  • Kristin Plessel, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Christine Rebout, Executive Director, Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Ozalle M. Toms, Associate Professor, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Diversity, Engagement, and Success, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Peter Weber, Assistant Professor, Auburn University 


 Ruth Hansen, Assistant Professor, Nonprofit Management, and Director of the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies

Ruth K. Hansen is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's College of Business and Economics, where she teaches classes in nonprofit organizations, fundraising, organizational behavior, and ethics. Her research focuses on the practice of  fundraising, popular support for unpopular causes, and social policy. She speaks regularly on the topics of fundraisers, fundraising, and related issues both nationally and internationally. Dr. Hansen has more than 20 years' professional experience as a fundraiser, and is a former board member of AFP-Chicago. Recent publications include "Stories of strangers:  Writing donor acquisition letters in the  human services," published in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, and "A literature review of experimental studies in fundraising," published in the Journal of Behavioral Public Administration with co-author Dr. Abhishek Bhati. 


Megan Matthews, Lecturer, Business and Society

Megan Matthews earned her Master of Arts in Community Arts Management from the University of Illinois-Springfield.  She has worked in the nonprofit arts and government sectors for more than 20 years, in project management, community assessment, strategic planning and board development.  She currently teaches the Organization & Management class, and manages the Internship experience for the Nonprofit program.  Research focuses on creativity and curiosity in business.  She has presented at the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) and United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Conferences on entrepreneurship and mingling arts and business in a curriculum, and co-edited the book “Business & Society: Building skills and awareness for the workplace”, also authoring the book’s chapter on Business & Society. 

Publications on Nonprofit Management Studies:

Brunt, C., N. Dolch, T. Freeman, R. Mirabella, Peter Weber and M. Woodell. (2020) “Undergraduate nonprofit education: Between Institutionalization and Recruitment”, Invited Essay, Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. 10:1, 2-24.


The development of UWW's nonprofit management studies program is profiled in this published article. The following is an excerpt from the article, "This study aims to start a discussion on the challenges in the development of undergraduate educational programs in NPS. Undergraduate NPS programs (certificates, minors, and majors) have been developing at a slower pace than their graduate counterparts. Accordingly, we focus on the development of these programs, analyze their challenge of recruitment, and review the state of undergraduate NPS overall. Against this broader context, we selected four case studies for a more in-depth analysis of the challenges NPS programs face and the strategies these programs adopt to overcome these challenges. The selected institutions substantially vary in (1) location (rural vs. metropolitan), (2) student demographics, (3) institutional support, and (4) sources of funding."

Brunt, C., Hansen, R., and M. Matthews. (2020) “Recognizing the Plural Sector: Nonprofit Studies in a Business School Environment”, Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (upcoming)


The "best place" debate centers on which disciplinary setting is best for degree programs in nonprofit management education. We contribute to the discussion by reflecting on the constraints and opportunities intentionally identified in a developing program within an established business school. We ground our work in the nonprofit sector's interdependence with the market and public sectors, and identify opportunities for reciprocity within a business school setting. Finally, we identify cultivating interdisciplinary relationships as a strategy to ameliorate tension between a competitive vs. collaborative "forced choice" approach.

Other Publications:

Bhati, A. & Hansen, R.K.  (2020).  A literature review of experimental studies in fundraising. Journal of  Behavioral Public Administration. 3(1).  DOI: 10.30636/jbpa.31.129

Hansen, R.K. (2020).  Stories of strangers:  Writing donor acquisition letters in the human services.  Nonprofit Management & Leadership.  DOI: 10.1002/nml.21414

Matthews, M. , Werner, J., Schnaedter, J., Woletz, J., Barber, K., Baskin, D., Buchholz, R., Douglas, S. & DuPree, L.  (2019). Business and Society:  Building Skills and Awareness for the Workplace.  156 pp.