Hansen, Ruth

At UW-Whitewater

University - Faculty/Staff
Office Phone
(262) 472-1645
Office Location
HH 4516

Ruth K. Hansen is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics.  She regularly teaches Fundraising for Charities, Foundations of Nonprofit Organizations, Organizational Behavior, and Contemporary Research Methods.

Dr. Hansen has more than 20 years’ professional experience as a fundraiser, and has developed and taught professional development workshops on ethics in fundraising.  Her research focuses on the practice of fundraising, popular support for unpopular causes, and policy affecting charitable organizations. 

Her dissertation, The Role of Stigma in Writing Charitable Appeals, uses a dramaturgical framework and mixed research methodologies to examine how fundraisers write appeal letters for nonprofits that serve groups of clients with different levels of perceived stigma.  It incorporates issues of perception and decision making, communication and persuasion, and social and personal identities.

Recent articles have been published in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, and Journal of Nonprofit Education & Leadership.

Ruth K. Hansen is an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics, and director of the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies. She teaches classes in nonprofit organizations, fundraising, organizational behavior, and research methods. Her research focuses on the theory & practice of fundraising, and equity and inclusion in resource mobilization. Dr. Hansen has more than 20 years’ professional experience as a fundraiser, and is a former board member of AFP-Chicago. Recent publications include “Applying a stakeholder management approach to ethics in charitable fundraising,” published in the Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing and “Gary Neighborhood House: Managing mission and uncertainty in the Civil Rights era,” in the edited volume Hoosier Philanthropy. She contributed the chapter, “Theory in Fundraising,” to the new edition of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, which was featured on Bill Stanczykiewicz’s First Day Podcast from The Fundraising School. Her research with Dr. Lauren Dula on fundraising appeal letters, supported by the AFP Foundation, is the subject of an upcoming article in Advancing Philanthropy.

Ernest Wood Fellowship
April 2017
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Philanthropic Studies
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Master of Jurisprudence
Business Law
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Bachelor of Arts
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
February 2020 - Current
Academy of Management (AOM)
December 2017 - Current
International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR)
2013 - Current
Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
2012 - Current
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
1999 - Current

Impulse Giving Decisions: How Common is Check-out Charity?
Lauren Dula
Testing Fundraising Messages in Acquisition Letters: The American Public Responds
Lauren Dula
Do parents read appeals differently? Responses of Parents and Non-parents to Fundraising Appeals for Children’s Cancer Care
Lauren Dula
Exploring the Twin Dynamics of COVID and BLM on Resource Development for Latinx Arts Organizations
Alissa Santana
Impulse Giving Decisions: How Common is “Checkout Charity”?
Lauren Dula
Gender and Values in Direct Mail Solicitations: Research Sponsored by AFP Levis Fundraising Research Grant
Lauren Dula
Gender and Values in Fundraising Appeal Letters
Lauren Dula
Fundraisers and Social Capital: Social Capital as a Theoretical Lens for Understanding Fundraising
L.J. Alborough
Do Fundraising Appeals Contribute to Social Polarization? Identifying Causal Mechanisms.
Avner Ben-Ner, Lehn Benjamin
Science of fundraising: A meta-review of studies using experimental methods in fundraising
Abhishek Bhati
Meanings of "Community" in Fundraising Practice: Connotations, Boundaries, Obligations, and Treatment of In-groups/ Outgroups
A Penny for Your Thoughts: How do Fundraisers Think about Clients and Donors When Writing Appeals?
Unpopular: Examining the Role of Client Stigma in Writing Charitable Appeals
Do Fundraisers Write Different Appeals for Stigmatized Groups?
Professional Fundraising: Longevity, Effectiveness, and Vocational Satisfaction
T.S. Austin, J. Goodwin, T.H. Jeavons, D. King, S.K. Nathan, H. O’Connor, P.M. Rooney, G. Shaker, E.R. Tempel
Building Knowledge: Positioning Nonprofit Programs in Institutions of Higher Learning
C. Brunt, R. Long, P.M. Rooney, P.C. Weber
Discretion is Key: Some Factors in Fundraisers' Interpersonal Communications with Donors
Civil Rights, Urban Renewal, and the Final Years of the Gary Neighborhood House
Measure for Measure: Capturing Generosity in Volunteering
Richard Steinberg, Barbara Duffy, Yuan Tian

What do you value? Examining gendered responses to fundraising appeals.
Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing
Reframing Fundraising Research: The challenges and opportunities of interpretivist research practices and practitioner researchers in fundraising studies
Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing
Gary Neighborhood House: Managing Mission and Uncertainty in the Civil Rights Era
Hoosier Philanthropy
Advancing Philanthropy
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Vol. 30 Iss. 2 Pg. 29-31
An Introduction to Fundraising Theory
In Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 5th edition (G. Shaker, S. Nathan, E. Tempel, W. Stanczykewicz, eds.). John Wiley & Sons.
Pg. 35-44
Applying a stakeholder management approach to ethics in charitable fundraising.
Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing.
Cultivating support: Social capital as a theoretical lens for understanding the fundraising process
ISTR Working Papers Series
Vol. Volume XII, Virtual, July 2021
Giving by Bequest (Chapter 6) 2021
Giving USA
Pg. 132-145
Recognizing the plural sector: Nonprofit studies in a business school environment
Journal of Nonprofit Education & Leadership
Vol. 11
A literature review of experimental studies in fundraising
Journal of Behavioral Public Administration
Vol. 3 Iss. 1 Pg. 1-19
Stories of strangers: Writing donor acquisition letters in the human services.
Nonprofit Management & Leadership
Vol. 31 Iss. 1 Pg. 153-173
Giving by Bequest (Chapter 5) 2019
Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018
Vol. 64 Pg. 126-144
Giving by Bequest (Chapter 6) 2018
Giving USA 2018: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017
Vol. 63 Pg. 133-146
Giving by Bequest (Chapter 6) 2017
Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2016
Vol. 62 Pg. 129-143
Using the National League for Nursing Faculty Preparation for Global Experiences Toolkit for successful application for the Fulbright scholar award.
Nursing Education Perspectives
Vol. 38 Iss. 4 Pg. 214-215
Giving by Bequest (Chapter 5) 2016
Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015
Vol. 61 Pg. 97-110
Book Review: Michael Edwards, Civil Society, Third Edition.
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Vol. 26 Iss. 1 Pg. 414-416
Book Review: Nonprofit Organizations and Civil Society in the United States by K. LeRoux and M.K. Feeney.
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Vol. 44 Iss. 5 Pg. 1071-1073
Whattsamatta wit U, or U really got a hold on me
ISTR Working Papers Series
Vol. IX

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