Brent Pieper, a doctoral candidate at Indiana University, is the recipient of the 2012 Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, WPI officials announced today. The award will help Pieper complete his dissertation on women’s philanthropy programs at higher education institutions and their impact on charitable giving.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University annually awards the $2,500, 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 doctoral dissertation fellowship in 2009 to expand research about women’s philanthropy and/or gender differences in philanthropic behavior.
Pieper is the third recipient of the fellowship. Deborah Skolnick Einhorn received the award in 2009 for her dissertation, “Power of the Purse: Jewish Women’s Philanthropy and Social Change.” Laura Gee won the fellowship in 2010 for her dissertation on a series of studies designed to better understand how donors, especially women, choose among volunteering, fundraising, and monetary donations as their preferred means of participating in philanthropy.
“Brent’s research is the first cross-institutional study of women’s philanthropy initiatives at universities. It builds on previous studies about the impact of such networks on women’s giving at individual institutions,” said Dr. Debra Mesch, WPI director and professor of philanthropic studies and public and nonprofit management at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. “His work will help fundraisers for all types of nonprofits nationwide understand how best to engage the increasing number of women interested in philanthropy.”
“This study will add to a growing body of knowledge that is significant to the future of philanthropy,” Pieper says. “The impact women have on private giving to higher education cannot be understated. My hope is that the study will generate new ways to measure the impact of women-in-philanthropy programs at colleges and universities.”
Pieper, who is Assistant Vice President for Advancement at Cleveland State University, will share his research at the “Optimizing Your Donor Base: the Power of Women’s Philanthropy Programs” conference October 29-30 in Washington, DC. The conference is presented by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.
“Brent’s research will inform professional fundraising practice in substantive ways,” Mesch says. “As institutions seek to engage more alumni in giving, Brent’s findings provide sound guidance for cultivating and stewarding women, who continue to be an increasing percentage of current students and alumni of colleges and universities.”