Research & Publications

The Forbes Funds actively engages education institutions and communities in collaborative solutions for immediate, cross-sectoral problems. Doing so provides a platform from which nonprofit leaders can better engage with, and creatively respond to opportunities and challenges.

Download issue 1 of The Forbes Funds’ research periodical, the Tropman Report, below.

To serve our funders, partners, and region, The Forbes Funds convenes, supports, and creates pathways for nonprofit research that highlights the region’s nonprofit trends, opportunities and challenges. 

The Forbes Funds research and publications agenda includes white papers, case studies, thought pieces and the Tropman Report. Each year, The Forbes Funds works with local institutions, universities, local government, and independent researchers to publish research that supports the full sector from grassroots community groups to large agencies.

Elmer J. Tropman

The Tropman Report - Background

From 2002 to 2008 and 2012, The Forbes Funds published a series of articles on the nonprofit sector entitled The Tropman Reports, named in honor of our founder, Elmer J. Tropman. At the end of each year, all written reports were compiled together in one collection. Approximately twenty-four (24) articles were published via The Tropman Reports.

In 2020, The Forbes Funds began the process of reinstituting sector research and publications via a revised version of The Tropman Reports. The revised Tropman Report launched publicly in April 2021 under the leadership of The Forbes Funds and the journals inaugural editor, Dr. Jessica Mann, Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement at Duquesne University. 

Board Member and Staff Roles

The Tropman Report: Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief

Jessica Mann, Ph.D. – Duquesne University

Production Editor

Daniel Casebeer, Ph.D. – Seton Hill University

Board Members

Jason Beery, Ph.D. – UrbanKind Institute

Stephanie Chernay, MBA – Neighborhood Allies

Sabina Deitrick, Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh

Sarah M. Deluliis, Ph.D. – Duquesne University

M. Beatrice Dias, Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh

Derrick Feldmann – INFLUENCE|SG

Thomas J. Harvey, M.S. – University of Notre Dame

Stan Litow – Duke University

Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, Ph.D. – Homewood Children’s Village

John Tropman, Ph.D.University of Michigan

Research and Publications - Tropman Reports

Upcoming Call for Papers

The Tropman Report provides nonprofits with strategies for turning sector-wide challenges into opportunities for organizational growth and professional development.

The Tropman Report Call for Papers will be released twice per year. We seek proposals for scholarly research projects that iterate responses for the myriad of challenges facing Western Pennsylvania’s nonprofit sector and the sector overall. We also review thought-pieces from local and global leaders, book reviews, nonprofit, philanthropy, or community engagement case studies, and nonprofit collaboration reviews. 

  • Research proposals should focus on topics with potential for improving how nonprofit leaders engage current challenges (see: FAQs for more detail) within the Western Pennsylvania Nonprofit sector.
  • Proposals should articulate the opportunities for strategically responding to sector-wide challenges and constructive nonprofit development. Responses to these challenges should embody ideals of nonprofit learning, service, and stewardship while demonstrating practical methods for cross-sector collaboration, public leadership, and community engagement.

 

The Tropman Report welcomes submissions from representatives of the nonprofit sector, as well as public and private sector research, and any related outside subject area or disciplines.

Submitted research proposals should include the names and institutional/organizational affiliations of all authors and coauthors, and the contact information of the lead researcher for the project. Proposed articles, case studies, book reviews, etc. must be completed prior to submission and must show impact on the local or global nonprofit sector. 

Accepted research proposals will be reviewed by an editorial board organized by The Forbes Funds. Upon completion of the research process, all accepted proposals will be required to submit a manuscript inclusive of: an overview of the context in which the research was conducted, a description of the primary research approach used, and a summary of the results and implications that the findings have for the Western Pennsylvania Nonprofit Sector.

Proposals should be emailed to TropmanReport@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

The 2022 Tropman Report was released on April 1, 2022. The second call for papers will be published soon. Please get in touch should you have any additional questions.

Is there a proposal template?

The Tropman Report Editorial Board is currently updating the submission requirements. As noted, all works must be complete prior to submission. Please stay tuned. 

If you need support with your proposal, please contact Dr. Hannah Karolak at The Forbes Funds (Hannah@forbesfunds.org). The Forbes Funds’ Executive in Residence (EIR) program has research and publications coaches who can support you during the submission process.*

What types of research does the Tropman Report accept?

The Tropman Report welcomes submissions from representatives of the nonprofit and/or philanthropy sector, as well as public and private sector research relevant to the nonprofit sector, and any related outside subject area or disciplines that lend recommendations to the nonprofit sector.

Proposals may include qualitative, quanitative, rhetorical, theoretical research. Case studies, whitepapers, and thought pieces may also be submitted for consideration. All proposals must follow the proposal template and be submitted before the deadline. 

Can you provide challenge examples?
  • Challenges can range from, but are not limited to: managing pressures generated by increasingly complex stakeholder relationships, internal conflict management, changing and risky financial environments, over-reliance on foundation funding, and challenges to achieving accessibility, equity, and inclusion.
  • Opportunities may include alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, nonprofit and cross-sector collaboration, building relationships with stakeholders, and technological innovations.
Can you provide examples of what studies may include?
  • Theoretical and conceptual investigations oriented toward improving nonprofit practice
  • Case studies and program evaluations that elaborate methods and means for nonprofits to locate opportunities within complex technological, economic, ecological, social, and political environments
  • Think pieces on current issues in nonprofit management and leadership
  • Book reviews on important or emerging topics relevant to the nonprofit sector
Where should I submit my proposal? And, who should I contact with questions?

Proposals should be emailed to Tropmanreport@gmail.com no later than 11:59pm on August 1, 2021. Questions may be sent to the Forbes Funds’ director of learning & education, Dr. Hannah Karolak. Please send questions to Hannah@forbesfunds.org. 

Dr. Hannah Karolak

Hi, I am Dr. Hannah Karolak and I lead learning & education programs at The Forbes Funds. Our learning programs support current and future nonprofit leaders through coaching, mentorship, technical assistance, and professional development. Through partnerships with local universities, we are creating access to higher education for nonprofit professionals. Let me and our team of coaches support you in your journey to securing career mobility and greater leadership capacity.

Vision: The Forbes Funds learning and education programs support leaders as they navigate the changing demands of nonprofit work. Each of our learning programs include an aspect of coaching or mentorship, technical assistance, and professional development certification through digital badges, university credits, or continuous education credits. We use rapid prototyping to develop cohorts quarterly that respond to real-times needs of the sector. Through partnerships with our funders, we continue to offer these opportunities at low or no cost.

Contact me to learn more