Viviana Wu

Viviana Wu

Assistant Professor

University of Massachusetts Amherst


I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, School of Public Policy. My research interests lie at the intersection of nonprofit management, social policy, and democratic governance. Using mixed methods and computational approaches, my work features the emerging roles and unequal capacities of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to advance public problem solving online and offline–through philanthropy, advocacy, and public engagement. My research program is interwoven with three core themes–the 3Cs: Community, Commons and Connective.

Currently, I am examining the effect of place-based inequality on nonprofit capacity, conceptualizing the leadership capacity and intermediary roles of foundations in public engagement and advancing policy change, and analyzing the use of social media for engaging public stakeholders and policy advocacy.


  • Philanthropy and nonprofit management
  • Inequality and place disadvantage
  • Connective action on social media
  • Computational methods, Text as Data


  • PhD in Social Welfare

    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

SPP 297 Leading Successful Public and Nonprofit Organizations

MSSP 897 Applied Linear Modeling [ R Labs ]

Recent Publications

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The geography and the disparities of community philanthropy: A community assessment model of needs, resources and ecological environment. Link

Where do community foundations locate? Examining community needs and resources for redistribution. Link

How stakeholder mobilization saved Sweet Briar College. Link

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