Viviana Wu

Viviana Wu

Assistant Professor

University of Massachusetts Amherst


I am an Assistant Professor at the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy. My research combines mixed methods and computational approaches to examine how nonprofits and individuals organize to advance social justice and policy change through community philanthropy, public engagement, and social media advocacy, as well as how nonprofits shape and are shaped by place-based disadvantage and inequality. My research program is interwoven with three core themes–the 3Cs: Community, Collective and Connective.

Rather than taking for granted that all nonprofits are “created” equal, my research probes how nonprofit organizations shape—and in turn, are shaped by—the place they serve and policy issues they intend to tackle. For instance, I examine the effect of place-based inequality on philanthropic capacity, and in turn, their intermediary roles in community leadership, public engagement, and social media advocacy to advance change. I have published in Public Management Review, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Academy of Management Proceedings, and Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership and received several research awards, including the Best Conference Paper Award, Emerging Scholar Award, and RGK-ARNOVA President’s Research Award from ARNOVA.

I served as the Managing Editor of NVSQ (2015-2020) and currently serve on the leadership teams for the Donor Advised Fund Common Interest Group, the Data and Analytics Section (DAS), Theory, Issues, Boundaries Section (TIBS), Development Committee and consultative working groups of ARNOVA. I am a nonprofit scholar, an aspiring ceramicist, a new mom and a Hongkonger.


  • Philanthropy and nonprofit management
  • Inequality and place disadvantage
  • Social media advocacy
  • Computational methods, Text as Data


  • PhD in Social Welfare (Nonprofit Mgmt)

    University of Pennsylvania

  • MS in Nonprofit Leadership

    University of Pennsylvania

  • LLB (Bachelor of Law)

    University of Hong Kong

  • BSocSc in Government & Laws

    University of Hong Kong


SPP 608 Statistics for Public Policy in R [ Website ] & [ R Labs ]

SPP 607 Policy Methods

MSSP 897 Applied Linear Modeling [ R Labs ]

Recent Publications

Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.


  1. Wu, V. C. S. (2022, in press). Exploring donor influence and public engagement: Computational and thematic analyses of social media messages. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. [ Paper ]

  2. Wu, V. C. S. (2021, in press). Beyond policy patrons: A ‘MADE’ framework for examining public engagement efforts of philanthropic foundations on Twitter. Public Management Review. [ Paper ]

  3. Wu, V. C. S. (2021). Community leadership as multidimensional capacities: A conceptual framework and preliminary findings for community foundations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership. [ Paper ]

  4. Wu, V. C. S. (2021). The geography and the disparities of community philanthropy: A community assessment model of needs, resources and ecological environment. VOLUNTAS. International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. [ Paper ]

  5. Wu, V. C. S. (2018). Where do community foundations locate? Examining community needs and resources for redistribution. Academy of Management Proceedings. [ Paper ]

  6. An, S., Wu, V. C. S., & Guo, C. (2017). How stakeholder mobilization saved Sweet Briar College. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. [ Paper ]

Popular Topics