The Johns Hopkins International Fellows in Philanthropy Program is a highly-selective program that welcomes one or two researchers from outside the U.S. to spend one or more semesters at our Center to conduct independent research on an aspect of the U.S. nonprofit, philanthropic, and voluntary sector. Since its inception in 1988, this program has included over 150 Fellows from more than 50 countries. We are pleased to introduce you to the newest member of our Fellows family, Erik Petrovski. Mr. Petrovski is a sociologist and Ph.D. Fellow at Roskilde University, Denmark. His research focus is on volunteering, charitable giving, and the economy of the nonprofit sector. At Johns Hopkins, Erik worked on a comparative analysis of national accounts data on the nonprofit sector.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and research interests?
Erik Petrovski (EP): I’m a sociologist by education and doing a Ph.D. at Roskilde University. My Ph.D. research is focused on understanding what affects the willingness to donate time and money to the nonprofit sector. My general approach to this question is methodologically based on econometric analysis and both sociological and microeconomic theory.
Why did you choose the JHU Philanthropy Fellows Program?
EP: I am currently working on the 2013 national accounts study of the Danish nonprofit sector. One aim of this project is to make it directly comparable with data from other countries in the Comparative Nonprofit Sector (CNP) database. I wanted to visit the Center for Civil Society Studies to become familiar with the CNP and do comparative analysis of the Danish nonprofit sector..
Can you describe the research you undertook during your Fellowship?
EP: I was doing work on a country report on the Danish nonprofit sector with specific focus on a comparative perspective. During my stay I was mostly working on the historical aspects of the report. However, when the report is done, it will contain detailed information on the size and distribution of the Danish nonprofit sector— including its share of paid and unpaid labor—in comparison with other countries.
Do you plan to continue the research when you return to Denmark?
EP: Yes, my work with the Center has really just begun. During the spring, I hope to share the final version of the Danish satellite account data with [Center Senior Research Associate] Dr. Sokolowski. After this I hope to be able to finish my country report with the newest comparable data from around the world.
What is the most valuable thing you learned during your Fellowship?
EP: Probably to be very aware of the way that nonprofits are often overlooked by statistics agencies: Since they depend on private contributions or public funding they are often put into the private or public sector. I think this is a powerful argument for why we need a separate NPI satellite account.