Welcoming a New Visiting Scholar to Independent Sector

It is always exciting to be able to share news about the growing Independent Sector family.

On September 1, Mirae Kim, Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, joined Independent Sector as our third Visiting Scholar.

Mirae Kim

The Visiting Scholar program was established at Independent Sector to integrate more intentionally and consistently the expertise and lived experience of both the academic and the practitioner community in our sector – all in service of a healthier, more equitable sector that is better equipped to serve our respective missions. Previous scholars, who join us for a one-year term, have included Alan Abramson, Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University, and Lewis Faulk, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy at American University.

We are now thrilled to have Mirae with us. Here are some of the reasons why.

Mirae is a board member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and co-editor of the Nonprofit Policy Forum (along with Alan Abramson). More importantly, she has researched and written on many important nonprofit issues for years.

Mirae is eager to be the bridge between scholarly work and nonprofit practitioners. Her enthusiasm in this role is well reflected in the “Nonprofit Organization Research Panel,” which she created in 2015 to provide valuable information for nonprofit practitioners, while producing much-needed data for researchers in the nonprofit community.

This panel project became the prototype of the Nonprofit Organization Research Panel Project (NORPP) Manager, a data platform for nonprofit scholars and practitioners that she is developing with other scholars with support from the National Science Foundation to improve how we study nonprofit organizations.

Her research areas include, but are not limited, to nonprofit financial management; the role of nonprofits in civil society and advocacy; interorganizational partnerships; and immigrant and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) nonprofit organizations. While there are many areas that Mirae could and wants to help inform policy analysis and practice regarding sector-spanning policy issues, her long-standing research on nonprofit financial capacity issues may prove particularly valuable in helping nonprofit leaders gain knowledge of data-driven best practices.

Her research project related to analyzing birth and death rates of nonprofits would also be valuable in helping IS members gain a more detailed understanding of the role of individual giving in nonprofit creation and resilience.

Independent Sector is looking forward to engaging her research findings regarding how the nonprofit service distribution is related to diversity and income inequality. Her current research around race equity policy work, including a better understanding of disparities impacting organizations led by and serving people of color, would bring opportunities for collaboration with IS members. It also aligns well with the effort that IS has been making to better understand the impact of public policies regarding charitable giving, philanthropy reform, nonpartisan civic engagement, and many other issues.

Independent Sector will continue working with Mirae and previous IS visiting scholars (along with other researchers at Urban Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology) to create a data platform for scientific analysis of nonprofit organizations, funded by the National Science Foundation. This project will create a data warehouse and cloud-based platform for researchers across the U.S. to scientifically sample, collect, combine, and collaboratively contribute novel and nationally representative panel data on nonprofits across the U.S.

Finally, it is not just her research background that we are excited about. Mirae is originally from South Korea and has lived in many different parts of the U.S. over the last 15 years. She is excited to bring her perspective as an Asian, female scholar to our increasingly diverse community.

Part of our deep hope is to give all of you, our IS member community, the opportunity to engage with Mirae and her work over the next year. More on that in the weeks and months to come.

Welcome, Mirae, to this community!

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Civil Society, Data, IS Staff, Public Policy, Race, Equity, and Inclusion, Voices for Good
Focus Areas: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Policy Issues: Nonprofit Operations