Starting a Dialogue About Sexual Harassment in and Around Nonprofits

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By Erynn E. Beaton and Megan LePere-Schloop, Ohio State University.

We might not expect nonprofit organizations to be sites of sexual harassment – after all, they exist to do good.  However, several high profile examples surfaced during the #MeToo movement, and surveys and polls suggest sexual harassment is widespread. For instance, our own research suggests that 75.8% of fundraisers have experienced sexual harassment ever in their career and 42.1% have experienced it in the past two years. Another survey suggests 55% of female humanitarian workers endure persistent sexual advances by a male colleague. The question is: What can nonprofits do to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in their midst?

To answer this question, you might run a quick Google search and spend hours reading about what the best practices are. Well, we’ve done that for you – and we compare the recommendations you would find to the research so that only validated practices are included. What we found is a set of seven overarching best practices, which we summarise below. Each of these best practices are undergirded by several specific measures that can be taken (see full article).

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Erased: Ending faculty sexual misconduct in academia

An open letter from women of public affairs education[1]

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The #MeToo movement is descending upon the walls of the ivory tower. The day of reckoning has come for academia to end teaching staff[2] sexual misconduct. As women educators in public administration[3] and third sector studies[4], we demand to be heard.

The issue of teaching staff perpetrating sexual misconduct is prevalent within academia, and more specifically, in graduate education programmes. In the United States (U.S.), 24.2% of women and 15.6% of men report being sexually victimized as undergraduates on a college campus in just the last two months (Jouriles et al., 2020); and, one out of every ten female graduate students report being sexually harassed by a member of the teaching staff (Cantor et al., 2020). This problem is not just isolated to the U.S. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s (2017) National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian universities found relatively similar numbers with 21% of students reporting being sexually harassed in a university setting, with about 7% being victimized by teaching staff (p. 48).

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Request for Applications: Editor-in-Chief for Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

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This is a request for applications for the position of Editor(s)-in-Chief of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ). Editing NVSQ is an exciting opportunity to help shape the growing field of nonprofit research through leadership of a top-ranked journal. NVSQ is the flagship journal of the interdisciplinary field of research on nonprofit organizations, civil society, voluntarism, and philanthropy, now in its 50th year of publication. NVSQ is owned by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and published by Sage Publications. ARNOVA is an international interdisciplinary association that fosters and disseminates research through NVSQ, its annual research conference, and other publications and events. Applications are welcome from individual applicants or teams of applicants – see instructions below. The future editorial team will play a leadership role in academic publishing as well as the field of nonprofit and voluntary action research.

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For a pragmatic approach to social impact assessment

Authors: Anne-Claire Pache1 & Greg Molecke2 Contributor: Eléonore Delanoë1

1ESSEC Business School, 2University of Exeter Business School

The Nobel prize in economics awarded to Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer in December 2019 has consecrated their game-changing work against poverty. At the heart of their work are experimental approaches using Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), which have shed new light on the way the impact of social innovations can be assessed. RCTs compare the impact of a measure between a treatment group and a control group whose participants are selected at random. They are a powerful way to remove biases and isolate a specific action from the great swirl of other factors that may affect the result. However, they are far from being a “one-size-fits-all” approach because they are complex to set up and impose significant technical and financial demands on the organization. They also frequently require long timeframes to set up and run – running into years and decades – making them poor tools to help businesses and investors execute short- to medium-term strategies. RCTs work well to establish causal links between a given intervention and social impact. However, in many instances, the impact evaluation needs for innovators and their supports are quite different – with much more need for tools that can guide performance improvements rather than prove outcomes. The latest research by Anne-Claire Pache and Greg Molecke for the Handbook of Inclusive Innovation suggests that these needs vary based on where social innovators stand in the innovation cycle. We need to focus on what organizations need and what they can actually do if we want impact assessments to truly drive development and increase impact.

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