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Ruth K. Hansen

(she/ her)
Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Ruth K. Hansen is an assistant professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics, and director of the Institute for Nonprofit Management Studies. She teaches classes in nonprofit organizations, fundraising, organizational behavior, and research methods. Her research focuses on the theory & practice of fundraising, and equity and inclusion in resource mobilization. Dr. Hansen has more than 20 years’ professional experience as a fundraiser, and is a former board member of AFP-Chicago.​

Recent publications include “Applying a stakeholder management approach to ethics in charitable fundraising,” and “Researching fundraising relations: Interpretivist research practices and practitioner researchers in fundraising and nonprofit studies” with Lesley Alborough, both in the Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing. She contributed the chapter, “Theory in Fundraising,” to the new edition of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising. A chapter with with Gregory Witkowski introducing the Cross Sectoral Bias Theory is included in the book Reimagining Nonprofits: Sector Theory for the 21st Century, edited by Eva Witesman and Curtis Child, coming in early 2024. Her work with Lauren Dula, supported in part by a grant from the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, focuses on charitable giving appeal letters and giving on impulse.

She holds a BA in Music (Rutgers College), an MJ in Business Law (Loyola University Chicago), and a Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies (Indiana University).


  • 2018–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • 2016–2018
    Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater