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2015 Conference Recap

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The 44th Annual ARNOVA Conference in Chicago, Illinois was the largest in our history. Over 800 participants from 15 countries engaged in a wide variety of presentation sessions, plenary forums, events, and pre-Conference workshops. More than 450 papers, 26 panels, and 49 colloquia were presented, covering a diverse array of topics representative of the multifaceted interests of members from around the world. ARNOVA was proud to welcome 289 first-time attendees, including a delegation from Saudi Arabia as well as founding members of AROCSA (Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa) from West Africa.

This year’s theme, The Dynamic Landscape of Nonprofit Organizations & Voluntary Action: Innovation, Inspiration, & Creativity Across Boundaries, guided the spirit of our events and reminded us of the great potential that exists in our fields for growth, expansion, and breaking down boundaries. These ideas were present in the opening plenary, where Burt Weisbrod reflected on the current state of the nonprofit field and challenges we face, and the closing plenary, where Alnoor Ebrahim moderated a panel that examined the future of research and practice with a focus on high performance and accountability. Inspiration also filled many hearts and speeches at a special reception held in memory of Woods Bowman, Peter Dobkin Hall, Estelle James, and Rick Cohen, where members celebrated the legacies of these departed members and colleagues.

As always, one highlight of the conference was the Awards Luncheon, where ARNOVA honored the best published work our field by presenting awards for the best recent books, for articles in NVSQ, and for the best recent dissertation.


ARNOVA Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research Award
Jeffrey L. Brudney, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Outstanding Book in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research Award
Christopher Bail, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, "Terrified: How Anti-Muslim Fringe Organizations Become Mainstream"

Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Book Prize
Monika Krause, University of London, "The Good Project: Humanitarian Relief of NGOs and the Fragmentation of Reason"

RGK-ARNOVA President's Award
Reza Hasmath, University of Alberta

NVSQ Best Reviewer Award
ichael Shier, University of Toronto

Gabriel G. Rudney Memorial Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research
Sheila Cannon, Trinity College Dublin,“Surviving the peace: Processes of Organisational Identity Work in Response to Deinstitutionalisation of Irish Peacebuilding”

Outstanding Article in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ)
Kelly LeRoux, University of Illinois at Chicago and Kelly Krawczyk, Auburn University, "Can Nonprofit Organizations Increase Voter Turnout? Findings From an Agency-Based Voter Mobilization Experiment"

Best Paper Award from 2014 ARNOVA Conference
Ming Hu, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Jiangang Zhu, Sun Yat-Sen University, "Community Reconstruction after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake: Reflections on Participatory Development Theories"



Also, outgoing NVSQ editors were thanked for their service. The climax of the Award Luncheon every years is the presentation of the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Award, which this year went to Jeffrey L. Brudney of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. This luncheon, as well as the many receptions and sessions throughout the conference, were made possible by a number of generous sponsors. 

Considering this year’s thematic focus on innovation, inspiration, and creativity, it was fitting that our conference was hosted in the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago, where frescos, French Imperialist artwork, chandeliers and works by Louis Comfort Tiffany lent a majestic ambiance. Attendees mingled in rooms and hallways previously used by Al Capone and Charles Dickens, reconnecting with friends and forging new relationships in the lobby where Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Ella Fitzgerald once performed. Only steps away from famous Chicago eateries and cultural sites, members were invited to take themselves on a walking tour created by Woods Bowman to highlight local architecture or follow his advice for unique dining experiences. Conference evaluations continue to arrive, and we are pleased by positive feedback regarding this year’s program, presentations, and overall content. We appreciate your remarks and strive to address your suggestions for continued improvement overall.

Next November 17-19, ARNOVA will host its 45th Annual Conference in Washington D.C. in the Hyatt Regency Washington. The Conference Planning Committee is now actively engaged in its work, and members with suggestions for the program are invited to send those to next year’s co-chairs. We expect a great turnout in 2016 and look forward to another exciting gathering filled with opportunities for meaningful discussion and collaboration.

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New ARNOVA Pre-Conference Session Announced!

Posted By ARNOVA, Friday, November 13, 2015

Philanthropic Research and Foundation Practice

ARNOVA Pre-Conference Session
Palmer House Hotel, Chicago IL
November 18, 2015, 1-2:30pm
SALON 10 (3rd floor)

OPEN TO ALL. NO conference registration required.

This roundtable discussion brings together producers, consumers, and advocates of research on philanthropy. Roundtable participants will discuss the question of whether, how, and to what extent research on philanthropy affects the way philanthropic institutions carry out their work.


Una Osili, Director of Research, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University
Megan Tompkins-Stange, Assistant Professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Kyle Caldwell, Executive Director, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University


Jeff Ubois, Program Officer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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In Memory... a Letter from the ARNOVA President

Posted By Fatima Hussain, Thursday, July 23, 2015
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2015



Dear ARNOVA Members,

This has been a difficult year for our association. In recent months, we have lost two pillars in our field. Peter Dobkin Hall was a long-time ARNOVA member and helped build our field through his work on the history of philanthropy and other topics. Woods Bowman was also a long-standing member of our association who worked in the fields of nonprofit finance and nonprofit governance, among others. Both men served unselfishly in leadership roles in ARNOVA. Their long service to our association and our field will be greatly missed. Moreover, both men were more than professional colleagues to many in the field and had become close friends. We will miss their friendship as much as their professional contributions.

Since the passing of first Peter and now Woods, the ARNOVA board of directors has been reflecting on the right way to remember and honor these two friends. There have been many suggestions and conversations that have helped us think through this important but difficult task. While there is no perfect way to honor the memories of Peter and Woods, we have decided to organize these opportunities for reflection and remembrance at the upcoming ARNOVA conference in Chicago in November:

On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 8 pm, we will have a room available for us to gather before the conference starts and share our memories of our two friends. We will be sending out a note in coming months with more details for people who would like to speak or to simply share some remembrances without speaking. (Edit: please click the link to share thoughts, memories, photos and more.)

On Friday afternoon, November 20, 2015, we will be hosting four “mini-plenaries” at our conference. This is a new feature of our conference that adds to the opening and closing plenaries. Two of the mini-plenaries will be dedicated to the fields that Peter and Woods were passionate about – the history of philanthropy and nonprofit finance.

We know that individuals and institutions are undertaking other initiatives at the ARNOVA conference and elsewhere to honor Peter and Woods. Some have suggested establishing new endowed research prizes in the areas of nonprofit history and nonprofit finance or endowing existing awards and/or scholarships in honor of Peter and Woods. We invite anyone interested in taking the lead in raising funds for such initiatives to let us know, and we will assist in this process. Please also feel free to be in touch with Shariq Siddiqui, ARNOVA’s executive director (, or me ( with other ideas or with an expression of your interest in helping with one of the initiatives described above.

We look forward to working with you as we share our grief and remember and honor our friends.


Alan Abramson
President, ARNOVA

Tags:  Peter Dobkin Hall  Woods Bowman 

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Special Events at the 2015 ARNOVA Conference Announced!

Posted By Fatima Hussain, Friday, June 19, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2015


FEATURED: Early Scholars Professional Development Workshop

This workshop will be a distinctive opportunity for early scholars (Assistant Professors, Doctoral and Masters’ students) to participate. ARNOVA will host pre- and post- conference sessions and also sessions during the event.

The program kicks off on Wednesday before ARNOVA conference with a general introductory session on the Trends in Nonprofit Research and Career, before the groups break into parallel sessions that cover:
• Surviving Pre-Tenure for Assistant Professors
• Succeeding the Job Market for Doctoral Students
• Career Choices and Prospects for Masters’ Students

Another session on Surviving Pre-Tenure and a session on Ethics in Research/Teaching and Service tailored for the specific early scholars will take place during the conference. The Workshop will conclude with post-conference research roundtables, sponsored by the Theory, Issues, and Boundaries Section.

The Workshop committee is formed of Khaldoun‎ AbouAssi (Chair), Mary Kay Gugerty, Mary Clare Hano, Catherine Herrold, Christina Mitchell, and Mary Tschirhart. The Committee is working on the final details of the Workshop and will be in touch with ARNOVA members who might be interested to volunteer as panelists and facilitators.

We also want to thank the Committee for its efforts and we want to thank you in advance for your service.

More details regarding this new opportunity will be available soon!

Other Special Events and Sessions at the ARNOVA Conference

Doctoral Fellowship Seminars

Diversity Scholars & Leaders Professional Development Program

Half Day Session: "Inactive Teaching with Multimedia Materials"

VRADS Section Pre-conference Session: "Teaching Ethics for NPO's"

Teaching Section Pre-conference Workshop: "Preparing 21st Century Nonprofit Leaders: Challenges and Opportunities for Nonprofit Programs"

Early Scholars Pre-conference Sessions (listed above) and Section Roundtables

Governance Section Session: "Governance Functions in Inter-organizational and Cross-sector collaborations"

ASPA Panel: "Civic Health – The Cornerstone of a Healthy Community"

Colloquium: "Nonprofit and Philanthropic Consulting: An Introduction to the FIeld and Dialogue with Long-time Consultants"

Nonprofit Academic Centers Council Panel: "The Meaning of Nonprofitness Conference Proceedings"


Stay tuned for information on these and several other events, sessions and workshops throughout the 2015 ARNOVA Conference! Register online at Super Early Bird rates until August 15th at

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Meet the First Registrant of the 2015 ARNOVA Conference!

Posted By ARNOVA, Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Meet Victor Kuo, the first registrant for the 2015 ARNOVA Conference! 

"Super Early Bird" registration for ARNOVA's 44th Annual Conference in Chicago, IL began on May 8th and has brought in several registrants, the first of which was Victor Kuo, Ph.D., a consultant, researcher and evaluator who has spent fifteen years helping philanthropic foundations measure their social impact.


"I am delighted to be part of an exciting panel on entrepreneurs and philanthropic leaders in Asia. ARNOVA is well known as one of the premier practice and research communities for my sector of interest: philanthropy" -Dr. Kuo 

Currently, Victor is founder of VK Global Advising and leads projects in strategic planning, evaluation, and organizational development. Previously, he was evaluation officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and research associate in the Evaluation and Learning Services unit at the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. He has consulted on building organizational capacity for evaluation and has conducted evaluations of projects in K-12 education, post-secondary education, and conservation and the environment. Dr. Kuo served on the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association and currently serves on the Advisory Board of GreatNonprofits. He also holds the position of Director of Strategic Planning and Research at Seattle Colleges which serve 50,000 and are the largest community college system in Washington State, USA. He has spoken on evaluation in philanthropy in Hong Kong, Singapore, Saigon, and throughout the U.S. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, MA from Teachers College Columbia University, and BA from Pomona College.


We look forward to hosting Dr. Kuo and the hundreds of other attendees who make the ARNOVA Conference the enriching experience that it is! Register for the conference at reduced rates until August 15, 2015.

Tags:  Annual conference  ARNOVA Conference  Conference Registration 

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ARNOVA’s 43rd Annual Conference – Record-breaking Attendance in Denver

Posted By ARNOVA, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ARNOVA’s 43rd Annual Conference – Record-breaking Attendance in Denver


The 2014 ARNOVA Conference was a great success! With record-breaking attendance and the highest number of sessions to date, the Grand Hyatt Conference Center in Denver, Colorado was a wonderful venue for members to network, share ideas and celebrate one another’s successes. We are grateful for such strong attendance, which afforded a rich and multi-faceted conference again this year.


Our theme was Evolving Sectoral Relationships: Global & Local Views.  Members presented 397 individual papers, 35 panel sessions, 31 colloquiums and 35 posters examining questions such as: What roles do globalization, demographic shifts, and the advent of information and communication technology play in the evolving relationships of the nonprofit and voluntary sector to the state and businesses? What are the exciting developments in theory and practice cross-nationally and how can they inform our understanding and actions in local contexts?  We enjoyed many dynamic panel discussions and colloquy sessions surrounding these topics.


New this year, five Common Interest Groups (CIGs) met to explore their areas of interest in depth. We welcomed the following CIGs:, Critical Perspectives, Early Scholars, Global Issues and Transnational Actors, Governance and Humanities. Members of the Muslim Philanthropy and Civil Society CIG met informally also. We had some notable advances in technology this year. The introduction of the new and improved ARNOVA website has been well received. Over 250 conference attendees downloaded our Conference App onto their devices and found it helpful to navigate the venue and attend their chosen sessions. Many of you enjoyed our Selfie Stations.

As always, the Conference allowed for many opportunities where new and longtime members and colleagues could reconnect. We introduced our new ARNOVA Board President, Alan Abramson, and acknowledged the work of the outgoing President, Francie Ostrower. Our Awards Luncheon was a special time to honor the best-published work in our field by the presentation of awards for the best book, outstanding dissertation, articles, papers and research. Also honored was Joseph Galaskiewicz, who was given the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research Award. The luncheon, as well as many other sessions throughout the Conference, was made possible by our generous sponsors. A list of these supporters appears at the end of this article.



 Awards Luncheon held in the Imperial Ballroom





Joseph Galaskiewicz (Center), receiving the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research Award from Francie Ostrower (left) and Steve Smith (right)




Chao Guo (right) and Gregory Saxton (middle), receiving the Best Paper Award, from Kyu-Nahm Jun




 Gerhard Speckbacher, receiving the NVSQ Best Article Award, from Judith Saidel




 Woods Bowman, receiving the Best Reviewer Award, from Femida Handy




Thad Calabrese (right), receiving the Editor's Award for NML, from Duncan Neuhauser (left)




Catherine E. Herrold, receiving the Best Dissertation Award, from Khaldoun Abou Assi




Sarah Reckhow, receiving the Hodgkinson Prize, from Woods Bowman




Wendy Wong, receiving the Best Book Award, from Woods Bowman




Kathleen Gallagher (Center) and Matthew Ehlman, receiving the Best Poster Award, from Jasmine McGinnis Johnson(Left) and Wenjue Knutsen(right)



Jennifer Mosley, receiving the RGK/ARNOVA Presidents Prize, from David Springer



Next November 19-21, ARNOVA will meet in Chicago, Illinois at the Palmer House Hotel. The Conference Planning Committee has begun its work already. If members have suggestions for the program, they are invited to send those to the co-chairs for next year – Angela Bies and David Suarez.  We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!


THANK YOU to our Denver Sponsors

Baruch College, School of Public Affairs

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Colorado Trust

Gulf Opinions Center for Polls and Statistics

Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Kresge Foundation

The Lilly Endowment

Nonprofit Academic Centers Council

Nonprofit Quarterly

Regis University

SAGE Publications

School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Bloomington

School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver

University of Maryland, School of Public Policy

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Exploring Denver

Posted By ARNOVA, Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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Tips for a Successful Conference in Denver

Posted By ARNOVA, Wednesday, November 5, 2014

High Altitude Tips

Denver really is exactly one mile high.


Don't let anything you hear about the mile-high altitude scare you. The air is just thinner and dryer. In fact, many people with respiratory problems move to Denver for the benefits of the dry air. Just follow these simple tips and you will very likely not even notice the difference.


Before your trip to Denver, and while you are here, drinking plenty of water is the number one way to help your body adjust easily to our higher altitude. The low humidity in Colorado keeps the air dry, like the desert, so you need about twice as much water here as you would drink at home.


In Denver's rarified air, golf balls go ten percent farther... and so do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level. It is recommended that you go easy on the alcohol in the mountains and in Denver, as its effects will feel stronger here.


Foods such as broccoli, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, greens, bran, chocolate, granola, dates, dried fruit, potatoes and tomatoes will help you replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake.


The effects of exercise are more intense here. If you normally run 10 miles a day at home, you might try 6 miles in Denver.


With less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado. But there's 25 percent less protection from the sun, so sunscreen is a must. Denver receives over 300 days of sunshine each year (more than San Diego or Miami). Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm... even in winter.


Two days before your trip to Denver, check the weather and use this information to pack appropriately. Because Denver is closer to the sun, it can feel much warmer than the actual temperature during the daytime, but then become very chilly after sundown, particularly in the Spring and Fall. It is best to layer your clothing. 

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