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College Park Professor Awarded Prestigious Fundraising Research Prize

(Apr. 7, 2014) The Association of Fundraising Professionals has awarded the AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research to Dr. Noah Drezner, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park, for his outstanding work on identity-based donors, Expanding the Donor Base in Higher Education: Engaging Non-Traditional Donors, published by Routledge.

Drezner’s book, deemed “excellent” by the AFP Research Council that awards the prize, adds new data and ideas to the relatively scarce literature on identity-based donors and how culture influences philanthropy.  Written for higher education, the information is easily adaptable and readily usable for all fundraising professionals. 

Each year, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Partners Prize for Research to the author of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior. The award is made possible by an endowment established by Skystone Partners, an international fundraising consulting firm, through the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy to encourage advanced research that extends the knowledge of fundraising and philanthropy.

“I am honored that my work is being recognized with the AFP/Skystone Partners Prize,” said Drezner. “I hope that this recognition will encourage practitioners and scholars to further the discussion on the importance of understanding how identity affects philanthropic behaviors and spur new and more inclusive fundraising practice.”

The Research Prize Judging Committee lauded Drezner’s book, calling it “a welcome addition that will aid fundraisers in moving beyond business as usual.” The committee explained that while some fundraisers acknowledge that culture does shape generosity, many fundraising professionals still function under the mentality of one-size-fits-all.  Beginning many years ago with information on gender differences in giving, the fundraising profession has periodically added research to its store of information regarding giving differences across various populations.  Drezner’s book “points to solutions that are not just expedient, but also the right way to embrace diversity in the field of fundraising.”

“We are proud to partner with AFP to present the Skystone Partners Prize for Research again this year,” said Elizabeth Kohler Knuppel, managing partner for Skystone Partners. “Dr. Drezner’s book is an important contribution to the field of research and will assist fundraisers in thinking about various ways culture impacts philanthropy.”

AFP presented the Skystone Partners Prize for Research at its board meeting on March 22 in San Antonio, Texas, before its 51st International Conference on Fundraising. 

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