About Me

I currently live in Ottawa while I work on my PhD. I grew up in Calgary where I worked and volunteered with nonprofits for more than 14 years.

In all of my paid and voluntary roles in the charitable and nonprofit sector, I have been supporting organizations in capacity building so that they can contribute to improved social outcomes in their communities.  I believe that strong organizations help create thriving and engaged communities.

In my academic work, it's becoming about challenging some of the "should do" concepts that the sector has picked up as it has professionalized - I'm worried that instead of professionalizing (which would come with ongoing learning and development), the sector is homogenizing without really examining some of the narratives and practices that it's picking up. Research is a chance to look at something that seems valuable on the surface and ask "is this really doing what it's supposed to?" and "is there a better way of achieving these goals?". From my work and volunteer experience, I know that I'm also drawn to work that focuses on change and on what's happening inside fuzzy boundaries where interesting or surprising interactions might be happening.

Current Projects

  • To what extent is the Canadian charitable sector a politically expressive sector?
    • This is my dissertation project.
  • Charity Self Regulation
    • Understanding the effects of the Imagine Canada Standards Program on participating organizations (PI: Susan Phillips).
  • Charity Funding
    • Examining fundraising markets and the effects of competition between fundraising organizations within those markets (PI: Nathan Grasse).
    • Understanding the effects of core funding on charitable innovation (PI: Susan Phillips).
    • Understanding what makes charities financially resilient (PI: Susan Phillips).

Past Projects

  • Charity Funding
    • Examining fundraising efficiency at STARS Foundation (with Kirk Schmidt).
  • Charity Governance
    • Assessing the governance standards of the Imagine Canada Standards Program and recommending changes based on academic literature (PI: Nathan Grasse).
  • Volunteerism
    • A series of projects in paid and voluntary roles. Most of my professional experience in the charitable sector has been in roles that included some element of leading, managing, supporting, and training volunteers.