Featured Academic Talks

Major talks that I have given on my reseach...throughout the world.

The role of philanthropy and fundraising in many institutions of higher education around the world is becoming means to supplement decreases in government support and as a way to strive for prestige. However, while US philanthropic giving is rooted in the establishment of Harvard College in 1636 and a more concerted and systematic fundraising practice in the last 50 years, institutions of higher education throughout the rest of the world are only beginning to ask for alumni, foundation, and corporate support.  In this address I explore three possible explanations for this expansion: (1) a functional need; (2) an isomorphic strive for prestige and legitimacy; and (2) a borrowing and lending of “best Practices.”

The Global Growth of Higher Education Philanthropy Worldwide: Exploring Possible Reasons for the Expansion
A short interview about the importance of individual philanthropy in education
A short interview about the importance of individual philanthropy in education
Keynote Address
Engaging & Embracing Diversity: The Case for Identity-Based Philanthropy in Higher Education
 
LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education
June 2016

Two of the most important trends in American higher education are the increase of institutional diversity and the decrease of funding to higher education. There is a unique link in these two trends. As institutional diversity increases in American higher education, so does the diversity of our alumni populations. And, with the decrease of funds we are seeing an increasing reliance on alumni giving and other forms of philanthropy in all sectors of higher education.  Yet, for the most part, institutional advancement officers do not make the link.

 

There are cultural differences in philanthropic giving across race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation and gender identity. In this talk I explore how social identity effects philanthropic giving and how higher education can engage and embraces this diversity through adopting identity-based philanthropic solicitation practices.

Fundraising is both an art and a science.  An art in that there is a dance to match a donor’s interests and an institution’s needs. A science because there are some proven predictors of giving that can help in the dance that closes the gift.  Research shows that those involved in student activities are more likely to give. We will explore the importance of using data in fundraising, identifying potential donors, and how it can enhance your success.

Engaging the Previously Engaged: Leveraging Prior-Student Involvement in Current Alumni Giving
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Social Identity & Fundraising:  An Interactive, Empirically-Based Workshop
NASPA Student Affairs Fundrasing Conference
June 2016

 

Identity-based philanthropy is an emerging field and topic of research.  The key premise is that a person’s social identities can affect their philanthropic giving. In this interactive workshop we will explore the topic and briefly discuss recent findings from two national studies, The National Study of LGBT Alumni and The National Alumni Giving Experiment and together work through how you might create and implement these strategies in your student affairs programs.

Philanthropy and Fundraising have been part of American higher education since the founding of Harvard College in 1636. However, the establishment of a culture of giving by alumni in public institutions is a more recent phenomenon.  Over the last 70 years, following the decrease in state appropriations, more and more public institutions in the United States have had to turn to alumni to make ends meet. This phenomenon is also evident in other countries, such as the United Kingdom. Professional fundraisers in the United Kingdom have been tasked with creating a “culture of philanthropy” to help replace the funding that used to be provided by the government.

As funding drops towards Israeli higher education, Tel Aviv University and  other institutions will likely need individual giving to support the needs of the  institution and to remain leaders within the academy. This talk will review the research on alumni engagement, donor motivations, and solicitation strategies that can help create that culture of philanthropy.

Making the Case for a Culture of Giving: Lessons from US Educational Philanthropy
 
Tel Aviv University, January 2015

Professor Drezner in his Barbara Townsend Lecture, Fundraising and Institutional Advancement: Theory, Practice, and New Paradigms will give an overview of the impact of philanthropy on American Higher Education, arguing that its study is more central to our field than most academics think. Drezner’s talk includes a discussion of the state of current research, theoretical perspectives to the study of philanthropy and fundraising and his view on the future of the field.

Fundraising and Institutional Advancement: Theory, Practice, and New Paradigms
 
Assoication for the Study of Higher Education,
Denver, CO
November 2015
Chinese Speaking Tour
December 2015 -
January 2016

Professor Drezner was named a Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University from 2016 through 2021.  In his first visit Drezner spoke at three Chinese universities, mentored students on thier higher education philanthropy and fundraising research and began conversations regarding potential research collaborations. 

The role of philanthropy and fundraising in many institutions of higher education around the world is becoming means to supplement decreases in government support and as a way to strive for prestige. However, while US philanthropic giving is rooted in the establishment of Harvard College in 1636 and a more concerted and systematic fundraising practice in the last 50 years, institutions of higher education throughout the rest of the world are only beginning to ask for alumni, foundation, and corporate support.  In this address I explore three possible explanations for this expansion: (1) a functional need; (2) an isomorphic strive for prestige and legitimacy; and (2) a borrowing and lending of “best Practices.”

Azerbaijan is a country where philanthropy emerged as a result of oil exploration at the end of 1800s. Hence, it has history of industrial philanthropists and their educational initiatives, in addition to the religious giving, as a primary type of philanthropy. During the Soviet Union, alumni philanthropy was not exercised. The studies show that Azerbaijan ranks 131st in the World Giving Index. Therefore, considering the history and socio-cultural context of the country, the alumni giving back should be studied, researched, and the results should be used by the policy makers, university administrators, and education researchers.