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Robert L. Fischer, PhD, Research Associate Professor
In the News
Aug 26 2014
“The power of (the Ice Bucket Challenge) is that it was started by someone with ALS,” Dr. Robert Fischer, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and the Mandel School‘s director of the master’s degree program in nonprofit organizations, explained to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in “Local ALS nets thousands from Ice Bucket frenzy but don’t expect other groups to follow suit” on August 22, 2014.
The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has gained widespread attention online and in the media, encouraging fundraising and raising awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Plain Dealer interviewed Fischer as a local nonprofit expert about the impact on fundraising organizations and campaigns.
“The Ice Bucket Challenge is similar to cash mobs in that they are initiated by people who care about the worth of these organizations,” Fischer added. “If other organizations did this it would likely dampen the excitement… This turned out to be a great way for (Ice Bucket Challenge originators) to accelerate what they were doing. But it would become routine.” Fischer doubts other fundraising organizations could co-opt the ice bucket movement as the current sensation and interest will not stay novel very long.
Explaining why the challenge gained so much attention so quickly compared with other fundraising activities such as bike rides and marathons, Fischer said “It doesn’t take a special talent to dump a bucket of ice water over your head.”
Read the entire article at Cleveland.com.
May 21 2014
A 2013 report from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development on the benefits of prekindergarten education was cited by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in “FitzGerald’s universal preschool proposal: What you’re saying” on May 15, 2014. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is running for Ohio Governor and announced the day before that he would be making his “Pre-K All the Way” plan for universal prekindergarten a primary policy of his campaign.
The Poverty Center report “Getting Ready for School: Piloting Universal Prekindergarten in an Urban County” in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk is cited in the story as having found “lower-achieving children attending pre-K programs in Cuyahoga County made bigger gains and exceeded expectations compared to already high-achieving children.”
“Getting Ready for School” was written by Center Co-Director Dr. Rob Fischer, former staff researcher and doctoral student Lancer Peterson, doctoral assistant Tirth Bhatta, and Center Co-Director Dr. Claudia Coulton.
The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development is a research center at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, a graduate school of social work at Case Western Reserve University.
Robert Fischer co-authors article with alumna Francisca Chaidez-Guitierrez in Journal of Community Practice
Mar 25 2014
An article co-authored by Professor Robert Fischer and Francisca Chaidez-Guitierrez (MSSA, 2008; MNO, 2011), “Reflecting on Grantee Evaluation Accountability to Funders: Exploring Power Dynamics with Grassroots Organizations in Communities of Color,” was recently published by the Journal of Community Practice.
“Francisca did an independent study with me in her final year at the Mandel School and that became the basis for this lead article in the Journal of Community Practice. It’s a great example of how a student project can lead to publishable work,” said Dr. Fischer.
Francisca has both a Master’s of Science in Social Administration and a Master’s of Nonprofit Organizations from the Mandel School and is now a fundraising consultant to grassroots organization in San Francisco, Cleveland, Oberlin, and New York City. She recalls:
“I began working on this project as an independent study in the fall of 2010. I was working as a volunteer in several grassroots organizations in the Cleveland and Oberlin communities and became observant of frustrations and concerns that were often voiced in these communities in regards to philanthropic funding and racial disparities. I had a lot of questions and, with the support of Dr. Fischer, I was able to investigate. The questions I set out with are still of great interest to fellow community servants and I hope to have the opportunity to continue answering them via community service.”