Dr Claire Routley

A research fellow from the University of Plymouth has been selected by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to receive its 2017 Emerging Scholar Award.

Dr Claire Routley, part of the University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, has worked in fundraising for 15 years.

She has specialised in legacy fundraising for the past ten, and much of her work focuses on the giving of legacy and in memoriam gifts to non-profits and other beneficiaries, such as charitable requests made through wills.

In recent years, her work has been featured in many publications, including the Journal of Gift Planning, the International Journal of Educational Advancement, Journal of Social Business and the International Journal of Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. She has also co-authored chapters for the volumes Fundraising Principle and Practice and Legacy Fundraising.

In addition to her work with Professors Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang at the University, she has supported a wide range of non-profits involving causes related to international development, heritage, disability, education and religion. She has also served as a tutor and examiner for both the Institute of Fundraising and its Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Fundraising programs, and Anglia Ruskin University and its Fundraising Module, and is a member of fundraising think-tank Rogare’s international advisory panel.

Dr Routley said:

“I am particularly interested in the relationship between the giving of these gifts and the continuation of an individual’s sense of self forwards in time, beyond their physical death. I draw upon a wide-range of interdisciplinary literature, but particularly, the literature on generativity, symbolic immortality and terror management theory. These theories seek to explain how individuals cope with, and act on, their fore-knowledge of death.”

The award was established by the AFP Research Council in 2013, and honours an early-career scholar or scholar-practitioner whose research has and will continue to shape the discourse on philanthropy and fundraising.

Judges rated nominated scholars on their record of scholarship; demonstrated evidence of a further promising career as an academic researcher or scholar-practitioner; demonstrated impact on the state of scholarship or advancement of knowledge; and evidence of impact on fundraising practice.

Professor Russell James, chair of the AFP Emerging Scholar Award Committee, said:

“Dr Claire Routley has rapidly established herself as a leader in theoretically significant and practically important research in fundraising. She brings an ideal perspective to this area of scholarship being both a skilled researcher and a practising fundraiser. The impact of her research has already been strongly felt on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.”

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