L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



September 2020

Nancy Stutts

Associate professor

Scherer Hall, Room 317 Phone: (804) 827-2164 Email: nbstutts@vcu.edu


  • Philanthropic foundation culture
  • Community-driven change
  • Nonprofit strategy


Ph.D. (2002) Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Public Policy and Administration. Dissertation: Market Advocacy Advertising: An Analysis of Corporate Branding of Public Issues. Chair: Robert D. Holsworth.

M.S. (1980) Biology, George Washington University. Thesis: Dispersion, Dispersal and Phenotypic Variability in Xenarescus monocerus, a Rolled-Leaf Hispine Beetle.

B.S. (1978) Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University


Principles of Nonprofit Management
Seminar in Public Administration
Leadership and Philanthropy
Leadership in a Network Society
Political and Civic Leadership
Program Evaluation
Doctoral Synthesis Seminar (Public Policy)

Research interests

Research emphasizes participatory, community-based methodologies to address local issues and change efforts, with an emphasis on alignment of nonprofit and philanthropic culture, strategy and implementation.


Nancy Stutts is a pracademic whose focus is learning about and fostering community-driven change through academic and practical approaches to building knowledge. Following 15 years working in nonprofit communications, Stutts returned to school to learn about how change happens beyond the organizational level. From 2001-2010, Stutts developed and led an early nonprofit online network of civic hubs to strengthen nonprofit capacity in three Virginia communities (now known as ConnectVA) for 10 years. She served as interim chair of the MPA program for four years and is a frequent adviser regarding issues affecting foundations and nonprofit organizations. She has been principal investigator on three multiyear foundation evaluations: the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s capacity-building strategy for youth-serving organizations in Jacksonville; Cameron Foundation’s nonprofit capacity-building initiative in an economically distressed Virginia region (summarized in, Restringing Kites in Windstorms: Reflections of Capacity Building During Challenging Times (2011), coauthored by Dr. Kevin Allison); and currently serves as a research fellow with Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.

Selected publications

Review of Community-Based Research and Higher Education. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 10: 69-72 (2004).

Community-Based Research Networks: Development and Lessons Learned in an Emerging Field. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (2003). With R. Stoecker, S.H. Ambler, P. Donohue and K. Nelson.

Connect Richmond: Collecting and Sharing Information to Build a Stronger Community. Community Technology Review (March 2003).

Market Advocacy Advertising: An Analysis of Corporate Branding of Social Issues. Doctoral dissertation, Virginia Commonwealth University (December 2002).

Mending Broken Promises: Justice for Children at Risk. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt (2000). With R.A. Couto.

The Use of Narrative Paradigm Theory in Assessing Audience Value Conflict in Image Advertising. Management Communication Quarterly, 13: 201-244 (1999). With R.T. Barker.