The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, a part of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, has awarded its 2012-2013 Lake Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in the amount of $22,000 to Allison Schnable, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University.
Schnable’s research examines the rapidly growing environment that has developed as a result of “voluntary entrepreneurs” seeking to deliver charitable aid in poor countries. She explores religious and secular organizations together to attempt to account for this broader trend toward grassroots assistance and understand the different organizational resources these voluntary entrepreneurs use. Her dissertation, Voluntrepreneurs: The Growth of American Grassroots Development Organizations, looks at the extensive growth of 8,000 new religious and secular relief organizations and the institutional models—religious missions, secular nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and social entrepreneurship—that these voluntary entrepreneurs draw on as they engage in relief and development work aboard.
Schnable’s previous research has included Singing the Gospel, Forging the Ties That Bind? a widely praised ethnographic study of a youth gospel choir. Schnable examined how religious practices forge meaningful social bonds. Building on a provocative claim that religious social ties lead to better citizenship, she analyzed one of the most common American religious practices, choral singing, to explore how such ties are formed. She found that gospel choir singing binds youth to the organization of the church and symbolically to the local and global black community.
“Allison Schnable is a promising young scholar in understanding the ways in which faith and philanthropy shape our communities, whether those communities are just down the road or halfway around the world,” said Bill Enright, the Karen Lake Buttrey Director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving. “We are delighted that this new support from the Lake Fellowship will help continue and expand research from this important emerging voice.”
The Lake Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is a one-year grant given annually. It provides a stipend to a scholar whose primary research focus is in the area of religion and philanthropy or faith and giving. It is intended to support the final year of dissertation writing. The first fellowship was awarded in 2008.