2014-2015 Academic Year Student Evaluations

2014-2015 Academic Year Student Evaluations

Full Summer Saturday Classes End

Summer II Classes End

Durgesh Kumar (PhD Student)

Making Change Happen

Kumar was a “regular kid” growing up in New Delhi, originally on track to get an MBA and work in corporate finance. But after seeing the poverty, violence, and human suffering around him, he realized he wanted to do something more to influence his world. Initially, that meant volunteering as a mentor and tutor among poor communities. But eventually, Kumar decided to pursue a career in social work.

With an academic background in finance, accounting, and economics, Kumar brings together his knowledge of financial and development economics with his passion for helping others. Since the recession hit in 2008, Kumar says that the demands on social work practitioners has changed. Because social workers now often deal with people who are under financial crisis, there is a greater need to create awareness among social workers about financial issues. To address this need, he hopes to educate social workers and has already developed a course on financial social work. He is also interested in using his entrepreneurial experience to help non-profit organizations develop and maintain financial sustainability. 

While he has many options for his future, from working in developing nations to teaching in classrooms full of students, Kumar’s commitment to serving communities will always keep him engaged with people in need.

Research Interests

Kumar’s research focuses on understanding the financial sustainability of nonprofits both at macro and micro levels. At the macro level, he is exploring how factors such as government grants, private philanthropy, and volunteers’ contributions influence the financial sustainability of the nonprofit sector. At the micro level, he is determining the financial strategies adopted by nonprofit leaders and administrators that increase the likelihood of financial sustainability of nonprofits. 


  • Poole, D., & Kumar, D. (2012). Editorial: The limits of sustainability and opportunities in the social economy. Social Work.

Academic Presentations:

  • Poster presentation (January, 2012). Poole, D. L., Rehnberg, S.J., & Kumar, D.  “Assessing Nonprofit Capacity for Effectiveness Across Multiple Domains: VCRC Results in One State.” Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Conference in Washington, DC.
  • Paper presentation-Accepted (November, 2012). Kumar, D, Poole, D. L., & Rehnberg, S.J.  “Does Nonprofit Community Engagement Capacity Affect Financial Sustainability Over Time?”  Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference in Indianapolis.
  • New Course presentation and defense (March, 2012). Financial Social Work. College of Social Work, University of South Carolina-Columbia
  • Grant Review Panelist: Community Mini-Grant (January, 2012). Healthy Environment Study. Community Empowerment Center, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina-Columbia.

Other Activities 

  • Won Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI), Malaysia “International Young Social Entrepreneur, 2007” award for the entrepreneurial role at www.microfinancejobs.com 
  • Presenter at Net Impact Forum-Moore School of Business, (November, 2011). Status of Microfinance in developing countries. University of South Carolina.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Mental-Health, Education and Volunteering related workshops at non-profits
  • Campus Leader at Graduate Resources, a study circle for graduate students and researchers. University of South Carolina-Columbia.
  • Physical health trainer 


#USCCOSW Latest Tweets

© 2014 University of South Carolina Board of Trustees | Privacy Policy