Publications

Monday, February 1, 2021

​Among the 25 arts organizations participating in Wallace’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative, the most frequently chosen demographic target group for audience-building efforts was “millennials.” But as the organizations began to create new programs and marketing strategies geared toward bringing these younger patrons in the door, they almost universally found themselves grappling with a group that was more complex and multifaceted than they’d originally thought.

Author(s): Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.
Monday, January 11, 2021

Absract: Does the way individuals think about the burdens and benefits of giving time to charity depend on how that time is distributed? Prior work shows that the assessment of a whole is different than the assessment of the sum of its parts. Drawing on this work, we demonstrate that when a volunteer experience is segregated into multiple parts (vs. aggregated into a whole)—for example, volunteering 4 h a day for 2 days versus 8 h in a single day—individuals expect the process to feel less effortful but also the outcome to feel less morally right.

Author(s): Marlone D. Henderson, Haesung Jung, Erin M. Baker, Cheryl J. Wakslak
Thursday, October 22, 2020 Research

How can computational social science (CSS) methods be applied in nonprofit and philanthropic studies? This paper summarizes and explains a range of relevant CSS methods from a research design perspective, and highlights key applications in our field. We define CSS as a set of computationally intensive empirical methods for data management, concept representation, data analysis, and visualization.

Author(s): Ji Ma, Islam Akef Ebeid, Arjen de Wit, Meiying Xu, Yongzheng Yang, Rene Bekkers, Pamala Wiepking
Monday, June 1, 2020

National statistics continue to show stagnant or declining attendance across many forms in the nonprofit arts. Less understood, however, is how arts organizations might use data and market research to cultivate new audiences and strengthen bonds with current attendees.

Author(s): Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Abstract: This study considers the effects of government funding to nonprofits from a network perspective. By analyzing a novel, 12-year panel dataset from the People's Republic of China, I find no evidence that government funding to a nonprofit crowds out private donations to the same organization. However, I find a substantial crosswise crowding-in effect at the ego network level: an increase of one Chinese Yuan in government funding to a nonprofit's neighbor organizations in board interlocking network can increase the private giving to the nonprofit by 0.4 Chinese Yuan.

Author(s): Ji Ma, Ph.D
Friday, March 1, 2019 Research

With a deep dive focus on Social Equity, the newest Austin Area Sustainability Indicators report shares recent community survey data and updates trends across multiple dimensions of community sustainability including health, education, civic engagement, housing, transportation, and public safety.

Author(s): R. Patrick Bixler, Ph.D.
Monday, December 3, 2018 Research

Description: What new knowledge has been generated through the academic study of nonprofit organizations?  This study examines how research in the field of nonprofit studies has developed and what ideas have had significant resonance and cohesion, in particular, ideas related to theories of volunteering, as well as social capital and civic engagement.

Author(s): Ji Ma, Ph.D, Sara Konrath Ph.D.
Monday, December 3, 2018

What does it mean to have a healthy nonprofit sector?  The authors explore the idea of including social capital, both cognitive and structural, in measuring the performance of nonprofit organizations, philanthropic investment and the overall health of the sector.

Author(s): R. Patrick Bixler, Ph.D., David Springer, Ph.D., LCSW
Friday, October 5, 2018 Research

Data from the RGK Center’s Austin Area Sustainability Indicators research is used to develop a civic health index for Greater Austin.  Explore the findings and trends in political participation, social connectedness, volunteer involvement, and philanthropic giving.  This report was developed in collaboration with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, the National Conference on Citizenship, Austin Community Foundation, KUT, KLRU and Leadership Austin.

Author(s): R. Patrick Bixler, PhD, Emily (Einsohn) Bhandari, MPAff, MSSW
Friday, June 1, 2018 Research

What is the perspective of philanthropic foundations on using data to effectively measure social impact?  This article explores the data ecosystem of Central Texas and offers ways to think about how data and information influences grantmaking.

Author(s): R. Patrick Bixler, University of Texas at Austin, Marisa Zappone, Mission Capital, Lin Rui Li, University of Texas at Austin, Samer Atshan, University of Texas at Austin