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ASU Lodestar Center Blog

Get to Know the Lodestar Center: Lili Wang

Welcome to a new ASU Lodestar Center Blog series, “Get to Know the Lodestar Center!” We’d like to provide our readers with a peek into what we do each day to accomplish our mission by introducing members of the faculty and staff via short interviews and conversations. Meet the folks who are here to help you and your nonprofit succeed!

Lili Wang, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management in ASU's School of Community Resources and Development. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on such diverse subjects as Program Evaluation & Information Management, International NGOs, and Philanthropy. Her work on nonprofit studies has appeared in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, and Public Management Review. We're thrilled to have such accomplished faculty on board to help our nonprofit management students reach their full potential!

Meet Dr. Wang...

How would you describe yourself in 5-10 words?

I am a faculty (associate professor) of ASU.

What is your main area of interest?

My main research interest is in individual and institutional philanthropy.

Any secondary interests?

I am also interested in the intersection of the government and the nonprofit sectors, which includes cross-sector collaboration, nonprofit provision of public services, etc.

For how long have you worked at ASU?

I joined ASU in Fall 2008, and it’s been 8 years.

What were you doing before this?

I worked for the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, and I got my doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.

What has been your most rewarding experience or the proudest moment in your career so far?

My professional role includes three aspects: teaching, research, and service. I have had various rewarding experiences related to each of these areas. As a teacher or a mentor, seeing my students’ growth, whether it’s getting a dream job, winning an award, or presenting at a national conference, makes me proud. As a researcher, I think publishing research articles in a top-tiered journal is rewarding and being acknowledged of my contribution by my peers is rewarding. I have published close to 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and most of them are in top-tiered journals in the field. I have also won some research awards.  

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

It’s not the lesson I have learned, but rather it’s generally an important point for junior scholars to keep in mind, to protect your time for research and learn to say “No”.

What do you like to do when you’re not here at ASU?

As a proud mom of my son and daughter, I enjoy spending time with my kids when I’m not here at ASU. I also like traveling during the summer and winter break.

What do you think people should know about your work, or about the Lodestar Center, that they might not be aware of?

My research focuses on individual and institutional philanthropy.  I have studied minority volunteering and giving behaviors, social media giving, planned giving, and community foundations both in the US, and in other countries. The findings of these studies often have important practical implications. 

What are you working on now?

Currently I am working on international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and related policies in the U.S., migrant associations, and government-nonprofit collaboration.

I recently published an article on formal and informal volunteering in Canada. The study examined the factors associated with individuals’ propensity to engage in formal and informal volunteering. The results showed that social networks increase the likelihood of both formal and informal volunteering, but social trust and human capital increase only the likelihood of formal volunteering and not of informal care. The findings also revealed interesting cultural influences and regional differences in the propensity to engage in formal and informal volunteering. Additionally, women were found to be more likely to engage in formal volunteering and informal care than men.

What are you most looking forward to with regard to your work and/or the nonprofit sector?

I look forward to working on more funded research projects related to the nonprofit sector and cross-sector collaboration. 

Learn more about our undergraduate and graduate (Master, Certificate, and Doctoral) education programs in nonprofit leadership & management.


ASU Lodestar Center Blog