Publications

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
Thursday, March 31, 2016 Research

Are foundations with set periods for spending down their assets more effective as grantmakers than their peers who are established to exist in perpetuity? This is a longstanding discussion among philanthropists, with an article on the topic by Ray Madoff and Rob Reich published just yesterday in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. But Dr. Francie Ostrower, who has done extensive and in-depth research into this aspect of foundations, has some answers that may surprise readers.

Author(s): Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.
Friday, January 1, 2016 Research

“[F]or many developing countries, the Paris agreement is better than no deal and an important step in the right direction.”

Author(s): Joshua Busby, Ph.D.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Research

Discover how graph visualizations of the Global Impact Investing Network could lead to better investment recommendations and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Author(s): Mark Clayton Hand, Clare Zutz
Monday, April 27, 2015

Francie Ostrower, RGK Center Professor of Public Affairs and Fine Arts, submitted a response to Paul Brest's essay entitled, "Strategic Philanthropy and Its Discontents". Brest's essay and associated responses were based on a discussion that took place at a symposium sponsored by Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and the 

Author(s): Francie Ostrower, Ph.D.
Sunday, March 1, 2015 Research

In this article, RGK Center Associate Professor Joshua Busby and co-author Bethany Albertson draw attention to the appeals that best persuade the U.S. public on climate change. Using an experimental design, Drs. Busby and Albertson assessed a diverse sample of 330 participants on their responses to four different appeals. The experiment yielded some surprising results particularly with regard to the impact that varying degrees of climate change knowledge had on participant response to the persuasive messaging.

Author(s): Bethany Albertson, Ph.D., Joshua William Busby, Ph.D.
Sunday, February 1, 2015 Research

This paper describes a teaching project that involved graduate students in nonprofit studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in a community engagement “crowdsourcing” effort focused on the topic of short-term volunteering. Students were responsible for organizing a one-day online brainstorming session, called a “jam,” in which geographically dispersed participants contributed to a 12-hour online discussion related to the topic with input from experts in the field.

Author(s): Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Ph.D.
Thursday, January 1, 2015 Research

Researchers at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work and the Austin Police Department (APD) have partnered with community leaders and stakeholders to Restore Rundberg, which aims to “improve the quality of life, health, safety, education, and well-being of individuals living and working in the Rundberg neighborhood.” Sustainable and innovative community engagement is at the core of this effort.

Author(s): David W. Springer, Ph.D., Michael Lauderdale, Kyran Fitzgerald, Donald Baker
Thursday, January 1, 2015 Research

A major goal of the Restore Rundberg project is to increase collective efficacy and community engagement, and community-level interventions are currently being implemented in this vein. In order to assess the effect of these interventions on collective efficacy and community engagement of Rundberg residents, researchers compiled a community survey that measures residents’ perceptions of these factors before and after implementation of interventions.

Author(s): Yessenia Castro, Katie Casstevens, Barbara Garcia, David W. Springer, Ph.D.