Noah Drezner Launches Philanthropy & Education Journal | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC’s Noah Drezner Launches Philanthropy & Education Journal

Scholarly analysis of nearly $60 billion of giving to U.S. K-12 and higher education

Cover of Philanthropy and Education Journal
Cover of Philanthropy and Education Journal
A journal recently launched by Teachers College offers scholarly research and practical analysis of education philanthropy, a $60 billion enterprise second only to religion in philanthropic giving within the United States and worth billions more in international education giving.

Sponsored by Teachers College and published by Indiana University Press, the semiannual journal, Philanthropy & Education, contains peer-reviewed, scholarly articles about education giving that are relevant and useful to practitioners and scholars alike. Authors are encouraged to write in a style that is accessible and usable by practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines and perspectives.

In an editorial introducing the inaugural issue, Noah D. Drezner, the founding editor and Associate Professor of Higher Education at Teachers College, writes that Philanthropy & Education will contain not just research on financial giving. He defines philanthropy broadly to include “scholarly work that looks at both voluntary actions that benefit education and how education impacts these activities.” The journal will also examine how individual and corporate donors can influence worldwide education trends and practices and the movement of philanthropic and educational practices across national borders.

“The study of how philanthropy shapes education is an emerging field of increasing importance, and having a dedicated, peer-reviewed journal will advance our understanding of crucial issues, while helping to build the field both within the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world,” writes Drezner, a former advancement officer at the University of Rochester who has earned awards for his research on factors that motivate alumni donors. “The partnership between Teachers College, a leading graduate school of education, and Indiana University Press, home of the premier philanthropic studies book series and the only school of philanthropy, is a major step toward establishing this field of study.”

Philanthropy & Education will be distinctive in publishing research articles by scholar-practitioners, with many drawn from recently completed dissertations and current institutional research, Drezner writes in the inaugural issue.  Another unique feature of Philanthropy & Education is the scholar-practitioner mentoring program, in which senior scholars assist scholar-practitioners during the peer-review process of their research and publication. 

Noah Drezner, Associate Professor of Higher Education
Noah Drezner, Associate Professor of Higher Education
No other scholarly journal currently focuses on the intersection of philanthropy and education through empirical research, writes Drezner, an editorial board member of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), an international journal for the study of nonprofits, civil society, NGOs, philanthropy and voluntary action. “Both the education and nonprofit-focused journals have limited pages for this topic, given the size of their larger fields.”

This is true despite the size of education philanthropy, which represents 15 percent of all philanthropic giving in the U.S. Each year, U.S. higher education receives more than $40 billion in philanthropic dollars for that current year’s budget. About half comes from current-use gifts such as an annual fund, with the remainder from endowment income (not counting new endowment gifts), mostly from individuals and family foundations, according to GivingUSA and National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) data.

Beyond annual giving and current-use gifts, endowments are created for the continual funding and support of education. U.S. higher education endowment assets total more than $515 billion, or about 79 percent of all U.S. endowments (not including family foundations), the NACUBO/Common Fund reported. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, eight of the 10 largest endowments in the United States in 2016 were held by universities. And because global funding for education as a public good has decreased while education philanthropy is increasing around the world, Drezner notes, “there is an increasing global audience for and research on this topic.”

The journal, to be published each May and November, will contain articles about scholarship and practice around education fundraising, volunteerism, civic engagement, alumni relations, corporate social responsibility, and how education fosters positive social behaviors. It will take articles from all aspects of domestic and international education from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, history, law, management, political science, psychology, public administration, religious studies, social work, and sociology. In addition to Drezner’s introductory essay, the first issue includes:

  • “Philanthropic Giving by Foundations to Higher Education Institutions: A State-level Social Network Analysis,” by Kevin R. McClure, Leah Frierson, Adam W. Hall, and Kara L. Ostlund
  • “The Lived Experiences of African American Development Administrators at Public Universities,” by T. Greg Prince and David J. Siegel
  • “Securing Donor Support for Unrestricted Endowments: A Case Study in Higher Education,” a case study by Aaron T. Conley
  • “Reciprocity as a Foundational Concept in Teaching Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies,” a teaching brief by Elizabeth J. Dale

Drezner formally launched the journal today (November 9) at the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s annual conference in Houston. Funding for Philanthropy & Education was provided from the Provost’s Investment Fund at Teachers College, which gives startup grants to promising faculty projects. To view the cover and table of contents click here. To obtain copies of the first edition beginning November 9, contact Noah Drezner,

Published Thursday, Nov 9, 2017