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Elizabeth A.M. Searing, Ph.D.

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Hello! I'm an Assistant Professor of Public & Nonprofit Management at the School of Economic, Political, & Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Before returning to Texas, I lived and worked in New York, Georgia, and a couple of other interesting places.

I study how nonprofit and other social economy organizations become more resilient. This normally involves financial management, but also relies on strategic management, program evaluation, and the local community. I am a firm believer that scholars should be rooted in the needs of the community, and I focus on finding (and teaching others to find) data-driven answers for social economy organizations around the globe.

Research Interests

Nonprofit Finance & Financial Management


The provision of goods and services needs resources. This is especially true given the complex issues that the nonprofit sector faces. I study the myriad ways that financial resources flow in and out of nonprofits, including how to determine the best revenue mix and fighting the stigma against "overhead" spending.

Social Enterprise


Social enterprise means a lot of things to a lot of people. In short, it's people and organizations using earned income to accomplish good in the world using a variety of different corporate forms. I study the different types of forms, their revenue mixes, and how we should be careful in balancing the different missions of mixed-purpose organizations.

Comparative Social Economy


The world is a complex and fascinating place -- and it keeps getting closer! Comparing different pieces of the social economy from different places means tackling a lot of different financial, legal, institutional, and cultural norms. I study and contribute to the best practices in integrating comparative data so that we can make the most accurate comparisons (plus highlight the unique elements of each data environment).


Selected Publications

Searing, E., Rutherford, A., and Grasse, N. (2022). “The Promise and Perils of Comparing Nonprofit Data Across Borders.” 50th anniversary special issue at Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, OnlineFirst.

Searing, E., Poledrini, S., Young, D., and Nyssens, M. (2021). “The Hybrid Nature of Social Enterprises: How Does It Affect Their Revenue Sources?” Social Enterprise Journal, 18(2), 321-343.

Searing, E., Wiley, K., and Young, S. (2021). “Resiliency Tactics during Financial Crisis: The Nonprofit Resiliency Framework.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 32(2), 179-196.

* Winner, Best Paper Award, ASPA Nonprofit Section, 2021

Searing, E. (2020). “Life, Death, and Zombies: Revisiting Traditional Concepts of Nonprofit Demise.” Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 6(3), 354-376.

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