Jasmine McGinnis Johnson
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration
|Address:||Media and Public Affairs Building
805 21st St. NW
Washington, DC, 20052
Professor Jasmine McGinnis Johnson has committed much of her life to the nonprofit sector and disentangling how it works. In her current research, Johnson analyzes the distribution of grants from philanthropic foundations to nonprofits organizations and the process by which these funds are allocated.
PhD, Public Policy and Administration, Georgia State University and
Georgia Institute of Technology
MPA, University of Georgia
BA, Sociology, Emory University
Selected Recent Publications
“The State of Diversity,” Stanford Social Innovation Review. Commissioned to write this article by the D5 Coalition, a group of more than 50 foundations and practitioners working on a five-year initiative to advance philanthropy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“A Call to Action: Investigate the Impact of Diversity on Philanthropy,” D5 Coalition research. Commissioned to write this article by the D5 Coalition, a group of more than 50 foundations and practitioners working on a five-year initiative to advance philanthropy’s diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“An Analysis of Gender Pay Disparity in the Nonprofit Sector: An Outcome of Labor Motivation or Gendered Jobs?,” with Lewis Faulk, Lauren Hamilton Edwards, and Gregory B. Lewis, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2011 Impact Factor: 0.899
“Voluntary Organizations,” with Dennis Young and Lewis Faulk, Handbook on the Economics of Philanthropy, Reciprocity and Social Enterprise, Editors: Luigino Bruni and Stefano Zamagni. Publishers: Edward Elgar Publishers
Selected Recent Presentations
“Maintaining Human Services through Economic Turmoil: Interdependence versus Government Dependence,” with Lewis Faulk and Susannah Bruns Ali, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
“Scaling Up: An Analysis of Rapid Growth with Government Funding,” with Lewis Faulk and Susannah Bruns Ali, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM)
“A Partial Theory of Nonprofit Success in Grant Markets,” with Lewis Faulk and Jesse D. Lecy, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
“Public Power in Private Foundations: Determinants of Decision Making Authority in Grantmaking Organizations,” Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
Philanthropy Track Discussant at Annual Conference, Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
“Advancing the Study of Foundation Grantmaking: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches,” Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Organized a conference panel for ARNOVA. Participants include Laurie Paarlberg (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Lewis Faulk (American University), Jesse Lecy (Georgia State University), and David Suarez (University of Southern California) with Dennis Young (Georgia State University), moderating.
“Public Value Failures? Public-Private Value Tensions in Community Foundations with the Growth of Donor Advised Funds,” with Lewis Faulk, Creating Public Values Conference
“Foundation Grantmaking Strategy in Practice,” with Stefan Einnarson and Hanna Schneider, International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR)
“Social Networks and Philanthropy: The Impact of Board Network Structures on Nonprofit Grant Success,” with Jurgen Williems, Lewis Faulk and Amanda Janis, International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR)
Jasmine McGinnis Johnson Explores Efficiency in Grantmaking
While the greatest news coverage tends to focus on debates over whether the government and private sectors are fulfilling their respective responsibilities to the public, conscientious citizens often express the same concern for prudence and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector.
This is where the work of Professor Jasmine McGinnis Johnson comes in. As someone who has committed much of her life to the nonprofit sector, Johnson is focused on disentangling how it works.
“As a former practitioner, my research interests are largely guided by my own experiences as a development professional,” she said.
In her current research, Johnson analyzes the distribution of grants from philanthropic foundations to nonprofits organizations and the process by which these funds are allocated.
“Although research consistently shows that foundation grants make up a small proportion of nonprofit revenues, nonprofit organizations are (on average) spending an incredible amount of time pursuing grant funds,” she said.
“I am interested in how these monies are distributed and the groups of people that make these decisions,” Johnson continued. “What criteria do they use while making decisions and how can this influence the efficiency and effectiveness of the grants marketplace?”
Johnson wondered specifically whether the composition of decision-makers—traditional board members versus community volunteers—influences the final distribution of foundation grants.
“Foundations increasingly use community volunteers to allocate grants,” she wrote in the paper’s abstract. “There is an assumption that community involvement in grant-making leads to better grant decisions. However, no one has tested this assumption and explored whether community members are even making different grant decisions than traditional boards.”
Observing a sample of six funders with either volunteer-based or traditional boards, along with the nearly 1,600 organizations that were awarded or denied grants from them, Johnson sought to test these assumptions by ascertaining which organizational and fiscal elements contribute to different grant distribution patterns between community and traditional boards.
Her research can be accessed in Administration and Society with earlier incarnations of Johnson’s work having appeared in publications such as Public Administration Quarterly, The Foundation Review, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, among others.
The results of Johnson’s analysis will either reinforce the current system of grant allocation or encourage foundation boards to rethink how they do business. Whatever the case, foundations and their recipients can soon rest easier knowing that their operations have been better informed by Johnson’s insights.