Dr. Genevieve Shaker

Dr. Genevieve Shaker
Donald A. Campbell Chair in Fundraising Leadership
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Dr. Meng-Han Ho

Dr. Meng-Han Ho
Assistant Professor of Business Administration
National Central University, Taiwan

Dr. Chen Ji

Dr. Chen Ji
Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Administration
Louisiana State University Shreveport

“The Interview Inspired, Shocked, and Moved Me:” Philanthropic Informational Interviews as a Pandemic Alternative to Service-Learning
Genevieve G. Shaker; Meng-Han Ho; Chen Ji
Journal of Nonprofit Education & Leadership, Vol 14, Issue 1

The COVID-19 pandemic upended college classrooms, challenging instructors to deliver classes differently while still seeking to achieve pre-planned goals. Service-learning instructors faced a quandary: discontinuing activities could compromise course integrity, but requiring service was impossible, impractical, or inappropriate. Creative solutions were needed. This study explored the learning outcomes from a replacement activity, the philanthropic informational interview, in a philanthropy general education class and asked whether it could generate outcomes similar to service-learning. Data were drawn from student reflections (n = 145) from nine online course sections between spring 2020 and summer 2021. Thematic analysis identified eight learning outcomes: engaging with social issues, nonprofit solutions to social issues, insights into nonprofits’ innerworkings, philanthropy as everyone’s responsibility, enhanced empathetic understanding, value-driven career inspiration, developing interview skills, and building career capacities. These outcomes align with research about service-learning and suggest that the philanthropic informational interview can be a meaningful alternative to service-learning in some situations.

Genevieve G. Shaker, PhD, is the Donald A. Campbell Chair in Fundraising Leadership and professor of philanthropic studies at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Professor Shaker’s research focuses on fundraising and fundraisers, philanthropy education, and higher education advancement. Emerging research interests include the roles and practices of fundraisers around the world. She is the lead editor of the fifth edition of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising (2022), a key educational resource for the field.

Meng-Han Ho, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Business Administration and an associate director at the Asian Institute for Impact Measurement and Management at National Central University, Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Her research focuses on social enterprises, social innovation, nonprofit management, and management education.

Chen Ji, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Her primary research focuses are nonprofit management and philanthropy. Her research encompasses various areas including social entrepreneurship, strategic management, and nonprofit financial sustainability.