The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has selected Dr Claire Routley, research fellow at the University of Plymouth and one of the UK’s leading experts on legacy giving, as its 2017 Emerging Scholar Award.
The Award, established by the AFP Research Council in 2013, honors an early-career scholar or scholar-practitioner whose research has and will continue to shape the discourse on philanthropy and fundraising.
Much of Routley’s scholarly work focuses on the giving of legacy and in memoriam gifts to nonprofits and other beneficiaries, such as charitable requests made through wills. “I am particularly interested in the relationship between the giving of these gifts and the continuation of an individual’s sense of self forwards in time, beyond their physical death,” said Routley. “I draw upon a wide-range of interdisciplinary literature, but particularly, the literature on generativity, symbolic immortality and terror management theory. These theories seek to explain how individuals cope with, and act on, their fore-knowledge of death.”
Professor Russell James, chair of the AFP Emerging Scholar Award Committee, says:
“Dr Routley has rapidly established herself as a leader in theoretically significant and practically important research in fundraising. She brings an ideal perspective to this area of scholarship being both a skilled researcher and a practicing fundraiser. The impact of her research has already been strongly felt on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.”
Judges rated nominated scholars on their record of scholarship; demonstrated evidence of a further promising career as an academic researcher or scholar-practitioner; demonstrated impact on the state of scholarship or advancement of knowledge; and evidence of impact on fundraising practice.
In addition to her work with Professors Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang at the University of Plymouth Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, Routley is also a legacy fundraising consultant and has supported a wide range of nonprofits involving causes related to international development, heritage, disability, education and religion. Routley is also fiercely committed to training fundraisers, serving as a tutor and examiner for both the Institute of Fundraising and its Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Fundraising programs, and Anglia Ruskin University and its Fundraising Module. She is a member of fundraising think-tank Rogare’s international advisory panel.
Routley completed her doctorate at the University of the West of England, focusing on leaving a charitable legacy: social influence, the self and symbolic immortality. She has also earned the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising (with Distinction) from the Institute of Fundraising and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from the University of Gloucestershire.
Routley’s work on legacy giving and charitable bequests has been featured in many publications, including the Journal of Gift Planning, the International Journal of Educational Advancement, Journal of Social Business and the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. She has also co-authored chapters for the volumes Fundraising Principle and Practice and Legacy Fundraising.