NEWS: New series of papers showcase fundraisers’ academic research to a practitioner audience

  • Rogare’s new ‘praxis’ papers to showcase fundraisers’ doctoral and Master’s research
  • Papers contain suggestions about how to apply the research to day-to-day practice
  • First paper – by Samaritans’ (UK) Lucy Lowthian – explores the psychological well-being factors that influence the intention to leave a legacy to charity.

The fundraising think tank Rogare has launched a new series of papers designed to showcase fundraisers’ academic research for a practitioner readership.

From its inception, one of the core aims of Rogare has been to translate ideas from academic research into professional practice. Praxis, which means ‘doing’, or turning theory into action, is therefore at the centre of what we do. 

Each of the new series of ‘praxis papers’ will showcase a fundraiser’s research recently completed for a PhD or Master’s degree, and provide some suggestions about how fundraisers can apply this in practice.

Claire Routley, the editor of the paper series, explains that the reason for focusing on research that has already been completed at this level is that it has already been reviewed and passed through the academic quality-control process – meaning that readers can be confident that it is robust.

She also explains why the new series showcases fundraisers’ research and not that of full-time academics’:

“We’re focusing on research conducted by fundraisers themselves so readers can be confident that it will be relevant to the issues that they face and will have a practical impact on their work.

“With the growth of professional fundraising education, there’s an increasing amount of insightful and robust fundraising research being carried out – but so much of that research stays behind the scenes in lengthy masters or doctoral dissertations. 

“Even when the research is published in a more concise form in academic journals, paywalls can mean that it doesn’t filter down to fundraisers working on the ground, and thus doesn’t make its way into professional practice. We hope that this series of papers will showcase some of the most interesting, most up-to-date research in the sector in an accessible, readable way.”

Rogare praxis paper #1 

In the first of this series, published today, Dr Lucy Lowthian – legacy marketing manager at Samaritans in the UK – details her research at Plymouth University into the psychological well-being factors that influence people’s intention to leave a gift to charities in their wills.

These are: 

  1. Connectedness
  2. Self-efficacy
  3. Purpose in life
  4. Identify importance…

…which Dr Lowthian brings together in a model that is published in the new paper.

Dr Lowthian says:

“There is a limited amount of research on legacy giving and an even smaller amount on psychological well-being. My research demonstrates the importance of priming individuals to consider leaving a charitable bequest in a way that enhances well-being and makes them feel good.

“I hope that the findings of this study can provide a better understanding of the most effective ways to prime people about legacy giving.”

You can download Lucy Lowthian’s paper – The importance of psychological well-being in driving charitable bequest decisions – here.

Future praxis papers

Rogare aims to publish three or four praxis paper each year. We have already lined up some potential papers from members of our Critical Fundraising Network. But we would welcome ideas from any fundraiser who has completed their research for a Master’s degree or PhD. Anyone interested in turning their research into a Rogare praxis paper should reach out to Claire Routley via LinkedIn or submit the contact form on the Rogare website.

Rogare’s director Ian MacQuillin says:

“It has always been Rogare’s intention to co-create fundraising’s knowledge base with fundraisers, which is why we all our projects are always staffed with fundraising practitioners. This new series is a perfect addition to how we approach the subject of co-creating knowledge with fundraisers. Like all our outputs, the series will be available free to all fundraisers who want to put into practice the insights these papers present.”

All Rogare’s reports and other outputs are available here.

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