Call for Papers

In advance of its second annual meeting, the Texas Advancement Analytics Symposium is extending a call for papers based on the theme of “Theories of Philanthropy – Developing Sophisticated Analytics Programs to Better Understand & Predict Donor Behavior”.

Submit an Abstract

Theories of Philanthropy – Developing Sophisticated Analytics Programs to Better Understand & Predict Donor Behavior


     Plato is credited with saying “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” There is no question that philanthropy is a complex human behavior that is difficult to predict. Short of having direct insight into each potential prospect’s level of engagement, inclination, and capacity, the analyst is left to discern these attributes from transactional and other data, much like breadcrumbs in the storybook forest. Together these attributes help answer the fundamental questions of when, where, and to whom an individual is likely to give and at what level.

Because of its complexity and variety, researchers and analysts with a diversity of backgrounds and across disciplines have taken an interest in studying and predicting philanthropic behavior. Many broad theories such as marketing, communication, media, relationship management, and economic theory, as well as more specialized theories and concepts such as agency, optimal contracting, collective empathy, impact, consensus, assimilation-contrast, and linear altruism theories have been employed to describe and predict philanthropic behaviors. Which of these various theories is subscribed to and explored seems largely dependent on the inquirer’s background, making for a multi-faceted corpus of methods and techniques for answering the fundamental questions.

As a practitioner contemplating this backdrop, one begins to consider questions of analytic sophistication. Are we using the best approaches for answering the fundamental questions? To what theories do we/should we subscribe? What are the best tools to assist us? Does our work influence strategy making and inform leadership effectively? And, what would a full-fledged analytics program look like?

The Texas Advancement Analytics Symposium invites you to consider these questions and to submit paper abstracts in response to the above stated theme. Accepted submissions will be presented at the virtual symposium in June of 2021 with final papers published in the Journal of Advancement Analytics (JAA), Volume 2. We welcome proposals that address both theoretical and practical applications of analytics in fundraising, including case studies.

Evaluation Criteria

Abstracts will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The originality of ideas/approach and level of innovation
  • Relevance for advancement analytics and the defined theme
  • Presentation: Coherence of clarity of structure and thought
  • Contribution to advancement analytics theory/solution building

To submit a proposal, please email an extended abstract (no less than 450 words) using the button above or to Submissions must be received no later than Monday, February 1st, 2021 to be considered.

Submissions must NOT have been previously presented, scheduled for presentation, published, accepted for publication, and if under review, must NOT appear in print before the symposium.