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Practicing What You Preach: UK Philanthropy Practitioners’ Experiences of Theoretical Academic Study

Fitton, Triona (2021) Practicing What You Preach: UK Philanthropy Practitioners’ Experiences of Theoretical Academic Study. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 11 (3). Article Number 3. ISSN 2157-0604. (doi:10.18666/JNEL-2021-10098) (KAR id:87223)


Analysis of UK educational provision in philanthropic studies (Carrington, 2009; Keidan et al., 2014; Palmer & Bogdanova, 2008) has demonstrated a need for further provision of philanthropy education for the UK sector. Taking its lead from debates around the role of academic theory in this growing field of study, this project aims to determine how theoretical (rather than practical) master’s-level study of philanthropy is understood and perceived by those working in the philanthropy, charity and fundraising sectors. Using a qualitative case study, this paper will present and discuss three key themes emergent from the data. These are: the ethical soup philanthropy practitioners experience as a result of reflection on their practice, the trickle effect of how literature and theory is shared around their networks, and the interdisciplinarity problem whereby the teaching of philanthropic theory from multiple disciplines can make application of the theory to practice difficult. The paper will conclude with some suggestions of what theory in the academy can contribute to practitioner skills in the philanthropy sector, including both strengths and some limitations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.18666/JNEL-2021-10098
Additional information: This work was conducted whilst in a teaching role funded by a gift from the Pears Foundation.
Uncontrolled keywords: Philanthropy; Philanthropic Studies; Nonprofit Education; Philanthropy Practitioners;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Triona Fitton
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2021 12:35 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2021 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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