NEWS: Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy receives US$1m donation to grow philanthropy around the globe

The Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy (CSP) at Plymouth University – the only centre of its kind dedicated to growing philanthropy – has received a US$1m donation to expand its work as the home of the new field of philanthropic psychology.

Established in 2014, the CSP has already developed an international reputation for its research in this area, while its academics have more than 60 years’ collective experience in prestigious roles across the world.

Now, thanks to a donation from Hartsook, a US-based global fundraising consulting organisation, the centre plans to dramatically expand its international reach, which already includes research contracts and teaching in the United Kingdom, United States, Norway, Ireland and Australia.

Hartsook gift signing

Hartsook’s Matt Beem and dean of Plymouth University’s Business School Nikolaos Tzokas (bottom left) sign the gift agreement at the board meeting of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy in London on 22 April. Adrian Sargeant, Christian Burden (Plymouth’s director of development) and Jen Shang look on.

They will also create more PhD studentships, and explore ways to establish the centre’s first undergraduate programme, with a view to it becoming the world’s first School of Sustainable Philanthropy by 2020.

With the signing of the gift agreement today in London, the centre will be renamed the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, but will continue to be led by current director, Professor Adrian Sargeant, and director of research, Professor Jen Shang.

Matt Beem, President and CEO of Hartsook, says:

matt beem“Adrian, Jen and their team bring unparalleled academic experience and insight to their work. Their commitment to enhancing the quality of the donor experience by equipping fundraisers around the world with research-based tools is consistent with Hartsook’s goal to grow philanthropy by improving educational opportunities available to fundraisers. This gift formalizes our global commitment and affirms our belief that those who ask for charitable support must have first given themselves.”

Hartsook, based in Kansas City, Missouri, was founded in 1987 and is the largest employee-owned fundraising consulting organisation in the world. With 100 team members worldwide, Hartsook has served charitable organisations in the United Kingdom, every US state, 29 European countries, India, Australia, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Chile.

The combined philanthropy of Bob Hartsook – Hartsook’s founder and chairman – and his company totals more than US$20m and also has created the Hartsook Chair of Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising at Avila University in Kansas City, which now offers the only online master of fundraising in the world.

Beem serves on the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy’s board of advisors and Professor Sargeant previously held the Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Professor Sargeant says:

This donation is a major endorsement of our work, and recognition it is having a genuine global impact on both philanthropists and fundraising professionals. It gives us the chance to explore avenues for future growth, including new research and teaching programmes at both the undergraduate and Masters level. It also gives us our first physical presence in the United States, allowing us to respond to donor needs globally and to address our core mission of enhancing the quality of their philanthropic experience.”

Since it was established, the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy has conducted high quality research, developed partnerships with professional associations and generated a range of opportunities for individuals to study the science of giving and fundraising.

It has also created the Plymouth Charity Lab, an experimental facility conducting high quality research into fundraising and philanthropy, and the Rogare think tank, drawing together 60 senior figures from around the world to identify areas of fundraising that would benefit from further research.

The new donation will enable the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy to pursue six core themes of research: fundraising leadership, the role of boards in fundraising, transformational philanthropy, philanthropic innovation, donor relationships and innovative work in the domain of philanthropic advising.

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