KU Leuven is looking for a PhD student working on nonprofit marketing and the ethics of face-to-face fundraising

KU Leuven is looking for a PhD student working on nonprofit marketing and the ethics of face-to-face fundraising

8 June 2022

The Research Centre for Marketing, with campuses in Antwerp, Brussels and Leuven, is an ambitious group of scholars. We are committed to excellence in research and teaching, and attach great importance to managerial relevance. Our research focuses on the three marketing domains, namely marketing modeling, marketing management & strategy, and consumer behavior.

Within these domains, our areas of expertise focus, among others, on:

• socially responsible marketing (e.g., fundraising, sustainable consumption, consumer ethics); • retailing (e.g., online and multichannel shopping, retail innovation, retailer-manufacturer relationships); • consumer decision making (e.g., behavioral economics, self-control); • service marketing (e.g., customer experience management, complaint management, service innovation); • sport sponsoring. Our work gets published in major international journals like Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Retailing, and Journal of Service Research. We have many productive partnerships with industry and authorities, both national and international. 


Nonprofit organizations and face-to-face fundraising: An investigation of donors’ and recruiters’ ethical beliefs, and the impact of these beliefs on donor recruitment and retention
The growing nonprofit sector is marked by increasing levels of competition and financial viability as one of its greatest challenges. It is becoming vital for nonprofit organizations to approach fundraising in more strategic and professional ways, with an increased focus on cost-effectiveness and building long-term relationships with donors. Face-to-face fundraising (e.g., street fundraising, door-to-door fundraising) is often mentioned as a highly promising fundraising technique because it is cost-effective, suitable for donor retention, less inhibited by the increasingly strict data protection regulations, and allowing organizations to enter new and younger markets. Despite its growing popularity and advantages, face-to-face fundraising also raises various ethical concerns (e.g., undue pressure) that may hinder its growth. Little is known, however, about the ethical judgments of face-to-face fundraising practices among both donors and recruiters. Equally, little is known about the relation between donors’ ethical judgments about face-to-face fundraising and this fundraising tool’s effectiveness in both the short and long run. During the PhD project, the aim is to address these gaps in both professional and academic literature and thus significantly contribute to this underexplored area of fundraising ethics. 
The project consists of the following aspects:
  • You follow the doctoral program at the Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven (Brussels campus). More information can be found via the following website: https://feb.kuleuven.be/research/PhD/businesseconomics/Business
  • You prepare a doctoral dissertation in the domain of non-profit marketing, more specifically on the ethics of face-to-face fundraising, supervised by Prof. dr. Tine De Bock (Brussels campus), Prof. dr. Tine Faseur (Brussels campus), and Prof. Dr. Siegfried Dewitte (Leuven campus). You will apply both quantitative (e.g., experiment) and qualitative (e.g., in-depth interviews) research methods. 
  • You get the opportunity to participate in national and international collaborations, to follow seminars and to present your research in Belgium as well as abroad.
  • You aim to publish the findings of the research project in (English) peer-reviewed scientific journals and actively look for other forms of science communication (also directed toward the professional nonprofit world). 
  • You become an active member of a dynamic research group with a pleasant working environment for everyone who has an interest in doing scientific research at an international level.
  • You supervise students in the bachelor and master programs, including master theses and business projects.
  • You make a (limited) contribution to the teaching portfolio of the Research Centre for Marketing.


We are looking for a PhD student who:
  • obtained a Master degree in (Applied) Economics, Business Administration or Commercial Engineering, or a related discipline (e.g., Psychology, Sociology or Statistics), or will have such a degree at the start of the academic year 2022-2023 (to substantiate during sollicitation).
  • obtained at least, on average, distinction during the studies and satisfies the entrance requirements of the doctoral program (https://feb.kuleuven.be/research/PhD/businesseconomics/Business).
  • has a strong interest in scientific research on nonprofit marketing and/or ethics, and has experience with quantitative research, qualitative research, and statistical analyses (f.ex. through setting up and analyzing experiments, or through executing and analyzing in-depth interviews). Being able to analyse (large(r)) data sets with software programs (such as SPSS, STATA, SAS or R) is a plus. 
  • likes talking to and engaging with people. You will be involved in organizing and analyzing qualitative data.
  • has strong communication skills and likes to work in a team, but also has the ability to work independently and take initiative.
  • has the skills to analyse theoretical papers and empirical studies in a critical way.
  • has a fluent (scientific) writing style (in English).  
  • is able to bring the PhD trajectory to a successful conclusion, with the necessary supervision.


We offer a full-time employment (100%) as PhD student for 4 years at the Research Centre for Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business (KU Leuven, Brussels campus). The start date can be agreed upon and is somewhat flexible (earliest start is the beginning of October 2022 and preferably before the end of January 2023). The doctoral program implies and facilitates taking multiple (methodological) courses in Belgium and abroad, an international research visit, and the attendance at conferences allowing one to specialize in the subject.


For more information, please contact Prof. dr. Tine De Bock (tine.debock@kuleuven.be; 0032 486 18 88 61).  
We will inform all candidates on June 27, 2022 the latest about whether or not they are selected for the next round based on their CV and motivation letter. The selected candidates will be invited for an interview which will take place on July 8, 2022. For this interview, candidates will be asked to prepare an assignment (deadline assignment: July 7, 2022). 
You can apply for this job no later than June 20, 2022 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.