Queering Philanthropy: Emerging Research on Alumni Giving From and Supporting the LGBTQ Communities

Host Organization: Strada Education Network and Lilly School of Philanthropy


Philanthropy is often defined by the literature through a wealthy-white-heterosexual-male lens. However, all communities and members of marginalized social identities have the potential to give, and they do! One aspect of Drezner's research focuses on philanthropy in non-traditional donor communities.

Building off of research from the two national studies, the National LGBT Alumni Giving Study and the National Alumni Giving Experiment, this lecture will explore how and why people in the LGBTQ communities engage in philanthropic behaviors, specifically within the context of giving to higher education. Drezner's talk will also explore how straight Americans might choose to support queer communities with their giving.

About Noah Drezner
Noah D. Drezner is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Program Director of the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, founding editor of Philanthropy & Education(Indiana University Press), and Visiting Professor of Education and Philanthropic Studies at Beijing Normal University.

He is internationally known as a leading researcher on educational philanthropy. His research interests include philanthropy and fundraising as it pertains to colleges and universities, including higher education's role in the cultivation of prosocial behaviors.

Currently, Dr. Drezner’s work is based in identity-based philanthropy. In other words, he is researching how a person’s social identities affect their giving to higher education and how colleges and universities can engage their alumni in more inclusive ways.

He is the co-PI for the National Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Alumni, a multi-institutional mixed methods project, and recently completed a population-based survey experiment, The National Alumni Giving Experiment, that evaluates how a person’s social identities affect their propensity to donate and at what level when exposed to different types of fundraising solicitations.

Dr. Drezner has published numerous articles and six books and given several international presentations on related topics. His dissertation received the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) H.S. Warwick Award for Outstanding Research in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement in 2009.

Additionally, he has been recognized with the 2014 Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy presented by The Association of Fundraising Professionals for his book, Expanding the donor base in higher education: Engaging non-traditional donors, and the CASE John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement in 2015 for his recent work on philanthropic mirroring and social identity’s impact on giving.

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