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Schar School of Policy and Government Professor Alan Abramson has been presented with the 2022 Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Award by ARNOVA, the national body representing university-based and other nonprofit researchers in the U.S. It is one of the highest awards in the field of nonprofit research.
Abramson is the founding director of the Schar School’s Center on Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Social Enterprise, which ARNOVA recognizes as “the premier nonprofit academic program in Virginia.”
“His excellent scholarship, mentoring of students, strategic management, and community outreach are well-documented, but it is his tireless leadership at the national level that sets him apart and characterizes his many contributions to the field,” ARNOVA said in a statement. “There are few people who know as much about the major policy issues facing the nonprofit sector as Dr. Abramson and even fewer who are able to communicate findings across sectors. His research has deepened our understanding of the relationship between nonprofits and government.”
As an example, Abramson was an early pioneer, with Johns Hopkins University Professor Lester Salamon, in researching the implications for nonprofits of federal budget decisions. “That work, updated by Dr. Abramson over the years, is a key resource for policymakers and nonprofit leaders,” the association said. More recently, he has studied how the nonprofit sector advocates for itself and worked with the organization Independent Sector to develop better and more timely measures of the health of the U.S. nonprofit sector.
Abramson directed the Aspen Institute’s nonprofit and philanthropy program for more than a decade, overseeing the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund and other initiatives that helped build the nonprofit research field in the U.S., strengthen nonprofit and foundation leaders, and deepen the understanding of policymakers about nonprofit activities.
“While I am honored to receive this recognition, I think it is also important to highlight the numerous accomplishments of the other faculty at the Center on Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and Social Enterprise,” Abramson said, recognizing Professor Stefan Toepler and Associate Professor Mirae Kim. “I believe a real strength of our program is having terrific, nonprofit-focused faculty at the Schar School.”