News

CSIS Alum Abhishek Bhati and Diarmuid McDonnell Collaborate and Publish Paper in NVSQ


Julia DaSilva
September 30, 2019
Alumni Stories, Research

Congratulations to Abhishek Bhati and Diarmuid McDonnell, former 2016 summer doctoral fellows at the Center for Social Impact Strategy! Bhati and McDonnell are set to publish a paper in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly: “Success in an Online Giving Day: The Role of Social Media in Fundraising.”  The paper examines the relationship between social media usage/stakeholder engagement and the amount of donations supporting organizations during fundraising events.

Bhati and McDonnell found that nonprofit organizations with larger network sizes, more activity, and stronger audience engagement are more successful in their fundraising campaigns. As such, it may be prudent for organizations, regardless of whether they are small, medium, or large, to invest in their social media presence. This brings up interesting implications for small nonprofits, who may not have considered social media as worthy of limited resources. In addition, organizations that regularly participated in fundraising campaigns saw more donations from a wider donor poll. 

Bhati and McDonnell began their collaboration while they were both fellows in 2016 under the direction of Dr. Peter Frumkin. According to McDonnell, “Producing this article was as pleasurable as it was challenging. International collaborations are tricky, requiring compromises around working hours and practices. Thankfully our friendship, which developed during our time as Penn Fellows, helped smooth this process and we are very proud of what we produced. Here’s to the next project!”

Check out the article here.


Abhishek Bhati is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Bowling Green State University. His research focuses on fundraising and representation of beneficiaries both in national and international contexts.

Dr. Diarmuid McDonnell is a social scientist with experience in academia, the public and voluntary sectors, and consultancy work. He is currently a research fellow in the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. Diarmuid’s research explores the determinants of nonprofit misconduct, accountability and vulnerability, using linked administrative data derived from charity regulators internationally.  Diarmuid is PI of the BA/Leverhulme-funded project “Mission Accomplished? A Cross National Examination of Charity Dissolution.”