Women’s Philanthropy Researcher Earns Doctoral Fellowship
Chandra Harris-McCray, a doctoral candidate at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, is the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Philanthropy Institute Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.
The award will help Harris-McCray complete her dissertation on African American women’s giving patterns to predominantly white institutions of higher education.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy annually awards the $5,000, one-year fellowship to support research and dissertation writing that contributes to understanding of women’s philanthropy or gender differences in philanthropic behavior. WPI created the fellowship in 2009 to expand research in those fields.
“Chandra’s research is timely in light of changing demographics in this country; increased interest in the intersection of race and gender; and the desire of colleges and universities to reach and engage alumni from diverse communities,” said Debra Mesch, Ph.D., Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy. “This dissertation will fill a gap in our understanding of how donors from diverse communities engage with their alma maters.”
Harris-McCray is the eighth recipient of the fellowship. Deborah Skolnick Einhorn received the first award in 2009 for “Power of the Purse: Jewish Women’s Philanthropy and Social Change Brent Pieper was the 2012 recipient for his cross-institutional study of women’s philanthropy initiatives at universities. Elizabeth Dale won the fellowship in 2015 for her work on same-sex couples’ charitable decision making.
Lauren Dula was the 2017 fellowship recipient for her work on the role of gender in nonprofit governance. Other awardees have examined this field of study from the fields of economics, anthropology, and history.
"With a decade of personal and professional experience in philanthropy, I sensed that women of color are often ignored and overlooked for their philanthropic potential. My dissertation is an attempt to set the record straight,” Harris-McCray said. “Funds to get to the finish line of a dissertation are often the hardest to find. I am especially grateful to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute for their support of the research at this critical juncture and look forward to serving as a catalyst in shaping how race and gender matter in higher education philanthropy.”
After serving as the executive director of communications for development and alumni affairs at the University of Tennessee Foundation, Chandra is now the executive director of advancement communications at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from Illinois State University and her master’s degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
About the Women’s Philanthropy Institute
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute increases understanding of women’s philanthropy through rigorous research and education, interpreting and sharing these insights broadly to improve philanthropy. By addressing significant and groundbreaking research questions and translating that research into increased understanding and improvements in practice, WPI helps to leverage new and expanded resources for the common good. Follow us on Twitter @WPIinsights and “Like” us on Facebook.
About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The School offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy and “Like” us on Facebook.