2022 Sal Martino Legacy Grant for DEI Research Recipient

American University

The Effects of the Intersectionality of Gender and Race on Members & Involvement in Membership Associations

Primary Investigator: Khaldoun AbouAssi, Ph.D., Provost Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration & Policy, School of Public Affairs

Abstract: Members’ involvement in membership associations are important for members, the organization, and the society at large. Such involvement takes different forms including giving money or volunteering. Yet, such involvement is not always easy and varies based on both organizational factors such as leadership and individual characteristics such as gender and race. The goal of this proposed research is to bring together these organizational factors and individual characteristics by examining the identity congruence between members and leaders of membership associations and its association with greater membership involvement—and consequently expected benefits. In other words, does the racial and gender composition of the board and senior management of an organization encourage members with certain gender or racial identity to donate their time and money for the organization? And does such involvement create an unbalanced burden or benefit from some groups than others?