Ellie Heng Qu, PhD


2092 Allen Building, 4220 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

About me

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. I am affiliated with the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy and a ISTPP Fellow with the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Bush School. As a scholar of nonprofit organizations and voluntary action, I study individual prosocial behavior and nonprofit financial behavior using administrative, survey, and experimental data.

Individual prosocial behavior. At the micro-level, I study causes, circumstances, and consequences of individual prosocial intentions and behavior, such as charitable giving and volunteering. My research in this area revolves around questions such as: When are people willing to give (more) to charities and why? Does helping others also benefit givers themselves? 

Nonprofit financial behavior. At the meso-level, my research searches for answers that are relevant to the resource development and management of nonprofit organizations. Should nonprofits pursue a diversified revenue portfolio, and if so, how? How do nonprofits manage and use their endowments? Besides grant making, why do (don’t) foundations engage in program-related investments? What are the implications of growing contributions to donor-advised funds for public foundations? What tools can be used to increase nonprofit financial accountability?

My current projects look at the role of the nonprofit sector in the society at the macro level and the impact it has. Do nonprofit employees have better life quality than those working in the public and for-profit sectors? Are nonprofit organizations more equitable compared to public and private organizations?

I have published in multiple journals across disciplines, including Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Personality and Individual Differences, Journal of Happiness Studies, European Journal of Ageing, Administration & Society, and Journal of Behavioral Public Administration. Learn more about my research here. Check out my CV here.