Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


The following paper investigates the correlation between established frameworks in the nonprofit sector and the prevalence of white saviorism. The research focuses on three key areas: donor-centric fundraising models, foundation funding patterns, and the demographics of the nonprofit sector. Through this analysis, the study aims to understand how traditional practices contribute to the perpetuation of white saviorism within the nonprofit sector. To create a fair and inclusive philanthropic landscape, surface-level changes to organizational practices are inadequate. Instead, the sector and its funding sources must undertake comprehensive changes and challenge the status quo to genuinely support marginalized communities and address their specific needs. Implementing transformative changes may be challenging, but it offers the potential for comprehensive support to communities that rely on the sector's promises.

This paper reviews the existing literature on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) informed policies within the nonprofit sector, alongside an examination of sector leadership demographics and their influence on donor funding patterns and grantmaking processes. As current research in is limited, the paper advocates for further investigations into the impact of challenging existing frameworks within the sector to promote more equitable and inclusive services. This paper also proposes opportunities for future research that can effectively assist nonprofit organizations in adopting DEI-rooted policies and procedures, fostering an environment conducive to addressing systemic issues faced by marginalized communities. By undertaking this multifaceted exploration, the study aims to contribute valuable insights to the ongoing efforts towards a more equitable and inclusive nonprofit sector.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

First Advisor

Julianne Gassman

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (37 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download