Lauren studies health management and organizational ethics at Harvard Business School. Prior to the doctoral program, she trained as a minister at Harvard Divinity School. Her dissertation explores how non-profit organizations assess the acceptability of philanthropic offers. In this work, she is using Sawtooth software to design a conjoint activity for non-profit managers.
The question of how non-profit organizations, and more specifically fundraisers, should evaluate philanthropic offers has been garnering attention both in national news. This project offers among the first empirical data points on how non-profit fundraisers evaluation the acceptability of philanthropic donations.
This research project will address the question: What characteristics of a philanthropic donation are most influential to non-profit fundraisers in deciding whether or not to accept a donation? It will also examine how non-profit fundraisers weigh the amount of a philanthropic offer against other characteristics of potential interest. Characteristics under study include: (1) whether the donor wishes to remain anonymous or be publicly acknowledged, (2) the amount of the donation, (3) whether the donation is being made voluntarily or as part of a punitive legal settlement, (4) whether the funds are restricted or unrestricted and (5) whether the donation is one-time only or can be re-upped in the future.
Laruen plans to field an online survey to a sample of 1000 professional fundraisers. This survey has been developed based on a review of the literature, 30 qualitative interviews, 3 focus groups and a pilot study conducted in March of 2019.