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Civil Society, Civic Engagement & Volunteering

Civil society refers to the broad swath of society that exists between the market, the state, and the family, conceptualized (alternatively or in combination) as a set of voluntary associations and their actions, the nature of societal values, or the form and content of the “public sphere.” Civic engagement focuses attention on individuals in civil society and the various ways and rates at which they connect to politics, to communities, and to one another. Volunteering focuses more specifically on the motivations for, practice of, and outcomes generated by the giving of time in support of individuals, groups, or causes, often (but not always) through organizations.

Faculty Members

Matthew Baggetta

Assistant Professor

Lisa Blomgren Amsler

Professor and Keller-Runden Chair in Public Service

Jennifer N. Brass

Assistant Professor

Beth Gazley

Associate Professor and Teaching and Learning Faculty Chair

Paul Helmke

Professor of Practice, SPEA

Leslie Lenkowsky

Professor of Practice in Public Affairs and Philanthropy

Frank L. Nierzwicki Jr.

Visiting Lecturer

Mark A. Norrell, FACHE, HFA

Lecturer, Healthcare Administration

James Perry

Distinguished Professor Emeritus

David Reingold

Professor and Executive Associate Dean for Bloomington

Michael Rushton

Professor and Director of Arts Administration Programs

Yue (Jen) Shang

Assistant Professor

Nan Stager

Senior Lecturer and Director, Undergraduate Programs

Faculty Research

Study: Voluntary support for public schools has grown, but not enough to offset tax losses

Researchers find students in high-poverty schools are less likely to benefit

Nonprofit membership organizations falter post-recession

Charities outperformed other membership nonprofits.....The Great Recession and subsequent recovery appear to have taken a heavy toll on nonprofit organizations that rely on members for voluntary and financial support, a new report by Prof. Grønbjerg shows.

Indiana nonprofit sector grew during Great Recession, outpacing state's for-profits and government

Indiana University study by Professor Kirsten Grønbjerg finds impact on nonprofits was mixed; social assistance, arts and membership organizations were more vulnerable.

IU Professor Helps Lead Project To Re-Think Public Participation In Government

Frustrated by public meetings that don’t serve the public, a team of experts and scholars that includes an Indiana University professor is recommending steps to encourage meaningful participation in government.

Making associations work: New book by IU experts offers recipe for success

Two Indiana University researchers offer a recipe for strong board leadership in a new book that tackles an important but overlooked subject.

Survey: Majority of Indiana local officials favor payments in lieu of taxes for nonprofits

A survey shows a majority of Indiana local government officials want some nonprofit organizations to offer payments or services in lieu of property taxes. More than one in four believes churches should make payments. The survey results come as local governments face decreasing revenues and growing budgetary pressures.

Recession and competition are changing Indiana’s social assistance nonprofits, IU report shows

Indiana nonprofit social assistance agencies are feeling the effects of the Great Recession and the increased competition from for-profit firms, a new report from Indiana University shows.

New research proves the business case for product philanthropy

The study, released today by Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, provides the first detailed examination of the return on investment for donating merchandise as opposed to liquidating or destroying it.

IU research looks at student engagement from 'supply side'

A five-year project by researchers at Indiana University finds that the "host agencies" generally believe there is significant value to having students work with their groups. However, some of the organizations lack the staff, resources and procedures to make the best use of students. And many would welcome being more involved in planning and designing the opportunities.

Good360, IU collaborate to measure impact of 'product philanthropy'

The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Good360, formerly Gifts In Kind International, have completed the first year of a unique, ongoing collaboration designed to measure the impacts of corporate gifts-in-kind to non-profit organizations.

Study: Link between military service and volunteering is complex

It draws on U.S. Census data to examine the frequency of volunteer activities for veterans compared with that of the population at large.