Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Kirsten Grønbjerg '68 Lifetime Achievement Award

Kirsten Gronbjerg
Kirsten Grønbjerg '68

Kirsten Grønbjerg '68 is the recipient of the 2005 Award for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

Grønbjerg is a professor of public and environmental affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and is Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She received the award at ARNOVA's annual conference held in Washington, D.C. during November.

The award for distinguished lifetime achievement is given annually for significant and sustained contributions to the nonprofit and volunteer action research field through research and leadership. Nominees must have made significant achievements in the field of nonprofit and voluntary action research or significant leadership achievements in the advancement and promotion of such research over an extended period of time.

Alan J. Abramson, director of the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program at the Aspen Institute, presented the award to Gronbjerg citing her outstanding contributions in both research and leadership. He highlighted her pioneering work to refine and perfect basic data about nonprofits that has helped to deepen understanding about the basic size and scope of the nonprofit sector, demonstrated the limits of existing databases, and developed new approaches for overcoming these limitations.

Abramson also stated that Gronbjerg was one of the first to map the complex flows of funding to nonprofits from many sources in addition to important contributions to theory development and refinement and documented the resulting pressures on nonprofit managers to relate to multiple funding sources, including government, private donors and paying clients. He also praised Grønbjerg's leadership in developing philanthropy as a field of study, such as her nurturing of young scholars, including many who are beginning to make their own marks in the field.

"I am immensely honored and humbled by this award," Grønbjerg said.

Kirsten Gronbjerg graduated from Pitzer College in 1968 with a major in sociology. She later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Nonprofit Funding and Management and has been with Indiana University since 1997.

-Susan Andrews