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AFP/Skystone Partners Research Prize Awarded to Innovative Book on Philanthropy and Entrepreneurs

(March 16, 2016) The Association of Fundraising Professionals has awarded the AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research to David Renz, Robert Strom and Marilyn Taylor for their book, Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in Philanthropy: Perspectives, published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

This year’s winning volume was edited by:

  • David O. Renz, the Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and the Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri - Kansas City, Mo.
  • Robert J. Strom, the Director of Research for Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Marilyn L. Taylor, the Arvin Gottlieb/Missouri Chair in Strategic Management at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri - Kansas City, Mo.

“On behalf of my co-editors, Marilyn Taylor and Robert Strom, let me say it is such a privilege to receive the 2016 AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research for our research handbook on entrepreneurs’ engagement in philanthropy,” said Renz. “This new stream of research is relatively underdeveloped, and receipt of the Skystone Partners Prize is a wonderful acknowledgement of the value of studying this unique dimension of philanthropy. It has encouraged us to continue to develop this work with a follow-up book project.  Thank you to AFP and to Skystone Partners for the recognition and encouragement—it is very much appreciated!”

The books provides a foundation for understanding a relatively new charitable phenomenon—the intersection of philanthropy and entrepreneurship—and offers the insights of a diverse group of scholars into the unique behaviors, motivations and perspectives of the latest generation of successful entrepreneurs and how they have developed and engaged in their own approach to philanthropy.

AFP’s Research Council, which reviews many volumes every year and awards the prize, wrote this about the Handbook: “The editors have done a good job of bringing together a group of authors to focus on research and perspectives on the intersection of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in this handbook. The book offers a broad overview of entrepreneurship and philanthropy with each chapter author providing their own definition and insight on the subject.   Women, Black Americans, multi-generational family companies and technology entrepreneurs receive special focus.  A selection of case studies from around the globe complete the work.  Fundraisers will find the work a helpful resource to obtain what research there has been on this new field as well as practical aspects of philanthropy and entrepreneurship.” 

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 the late J. Patrick Ryan and 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. 

“We are proud to partner with AFP to present the Skystone Partners Prize for Research again this year,” said Elizabeth Kohler Knuppel, president and CEO of Skystone Partners. “Taylor, Renz, and Strom provide a fascinating look at the philanthropic styles and attitudes of today’s entrepreneurs—a group of growing importance in the world of philanthropy.”

AFP will present the Skystone Partners Prize for Research at its board meeting on March 19 in Boston, Mass., before its 53rd International Fundraising Conference.

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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has inspired global change—helping nonprofits and charities and supporting fundraising efforts that have generated more than $1 trillion. AFP advances effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 33,000 members raise more than $1150 billion annually, equivalent to more than one-third of charitable giving in North America, with millions more generated around the world. For more information, go to

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Skystone Partners and its diverse team of fundraising consultants have counseled nonprofits and managed campaigns with goals from $1 million to over $500 million.  Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the firm and its U.S.-based professional staff members are currently serving institutions throughout North America.  For more information, go to

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