Faculty Biography

Margaret PostMargaret A. Post Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
International Development, Community and Environment Department
Clark University
Worcester MA 01610-1477

Email: mpost@clarku.edu
Phone: (508) 421 3871


Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Ph.D., Social policy (2008)
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, M.P.P., Non-profit & public management (2002)
College of the Holy Cross B.A. Honors, cum laude, Music; Peace and conflict studies (1996)


Margaret Post is an assistant research professor at Clark University in the Department of International Development, Community and the Environment. Her scholarship focuses on the role of grassroots community organizations in social policy change. She explores how organizations are structured to achieve their goals and the conditions, capacities, and contexts that enable political agency and successful demand making. Her current research focuses on the prevalence and efficacy of 501(c)(4) nonprofit political organizations. In addition to teaching courses on public policy, qualitative research methods, and community organizing, she conducts research and training with a range of non-profit, political, and philanthropic organizations.

Dr. Post holds a doctorate in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and a master of public policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Academic Appointments

Assistant Research Professor, Clark University
International Development, Community & Environment Department (2017-current)
Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise (2017-2018)
Visiting Scholar, Dartmouth College, Nelson A. Rockefeller Center (2013-2017)
Visiting Scholar, UMASS, Boston, New England Resource Center for Higher Education (2013-2017)
Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Dartmouth College, Nelson A. Rockefeller Center (2011-2013)
Director, College of the Holy Cross, Donelan Office of Community Based Learning (2007-2011)

Selected Research

Principal Investigator, 501(c)(3)-(c)(4) hybrid organizations study (2021-2022)
Co-PI, Elizabeth T. Boris, The Urban Institute
Mixed methods study of how hybrid organizations build community leadership and strengthen democratic processes. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Senior Researcher, Center for Evaluation Innovation (2021-current)
Co-design and implement multi-site evaluation of Community Power to Build Health Equity Initiative. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Senior Researcher, The Innovation Network (2012-current)
Developmental, participatory evaluation of multi-year economic justice initiative at the Center for Community Change. (The JPB Foundation)

Research Consultant, The New Left Accelerator (2019-2020)
Co-designed organizational assessment tool including interview and survey protocols; provide on-going evaluation research support for data collection and analysis.

Evaluator, Civic Participation Action Fund (2016-2019)
Case study evaluation of how and why 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations build organizational capacity through electoral campaigns. (Civic Participation Action Fund)

Evaluator, Center for Community Change (2011-2012)
Participatory evaluation of social change projects on immigration reform, retirement security, and economic justice. (The Atlantic Philanthropies)

Research Associate, Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Brandeis University (2005-2007)

Consultant, Harvard Family Research Project (2002-2005)


Selected Publications


Post, M.A., Ward, E., Longo, N., and Saltmarsh, J.  Eds. (2016). Publicly engaged scholars: Next generation engagement and the future of higher education. Stylus Publishing. 

Post, M.A. (2011). Grassroots coalitions and state policy change: Organizing for immigrant health care. El Paso: LFB Scholarly Publishing. 

Refereed articles 

Post, M.A., Boris, E.T, Stimmel, C. L. (2022). The Advocacy Universe: A Methodology to Identify Politically Active 501(c)(4) Organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/08997640211066495

Post, M.A. & Ruelle, M.* (2021). Guest Editorial: Power in Engaged Scholarship: Dimensions and Dynamics of Knowledge Co-Creation. Gateways International Journal of Community Research and Engagement. 14(2). https://doi.org/10.5130/ijcre.v14i2.8009   *Guest editors.

Fox, K., & Post, M.A. (2021). Evaluating Power Building: Concepts and Considerations for Advocacy Evaluators. New Directions for Evaluation. (171) 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1002/ev.20473

Dixon, Z., Bessaha, M.L., Post, M.A. (2018). Beyond the Ballot: Immigrant Integration Through Civic Engagement and Advocacy. Race and Social Problems. (10) 366-375. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-018-9237-1

Post, M.A. (2015). Multi-organizational alliances and policy change: Understanding the mobilization and impact of grassroots coalitions. Nonprofit Policy Forum. 6(3) https://doi.org/10.1515/npf-2014-0030

Book Chapters 

Post, M.A. & Dodge, J. (2018) Performance Assessment in Grassroots Nonprofit Advocacy: The Promise of Qualitative and Participatory Approaches from a Critical Perspective. In Eikenberry, A. Mirabella, R., & Sandberg, B. (Eds). Reframing Nonprofit Organizations: Democracy, Inclusion and Social Change. Melvin & Leigh.

Post, M.A. (2018) Alinsky-style organizing. In Cnaan, R. A. and Milofsky, C. (Eds). Handbook of Community Movements and Local Organizations in the 21st Century. Ch. 18. New York: Springer. 

Research reports

Fox, K., Luong, M., Marchant, A., Morariu, J., Mridul, A., Post, M.A., Roncaglione, V. (2020) Power Building in the Community Change Power in Places Initiative: Framework & Strategies. Innovation Network, Inc. 

Post, M.A. & Frank, M. (2019). Capacity Building in 501(c)(4) Organizations: Research Summary. Civic Participation Action Fund. 

Post, M.A. & Frank, M. (2019). Building 501(c)(4) Capacity through Statewide Campaigns: The Case of LUCHA and Arizona’s Proposition 206 Campaign Victory. Civic Participation Action Fund. Research Report. 

Post, M.A. (2017) Evaluation of the Center for Community Change’s Added Value to Partners. Innovation Network, Inc. 

Post, M.A. (2015) Research Brief: Findings from interviews with key national informants on the state of the movement to end mass incarceration. Innovation Network, Inc. 

Post, M.A. (2012). 2011-2012 Evaluation Report to the Atlantic Philanthropies. 

Magazine articles and working papers

Post, M.A. (December 2019). Politically effective or just good at campaigns?: Capacity building in 501(C)(4) organizations and the role of leadership. The Forge. 

Post, M.A. (October 2019). Why Some Politically Active 501(c)(4) Organizations are More Effective than Others. SSN Key Findings Brief. Scholars Strategy Network.

Post, M.A. & ÓFaoláin, S. (Winter 2016). Movement building for change: Perspectives on criminal justice reform today. The Nonprofit Quarterly.  

Post, M.A. (2013). Promise Arizona: Building immigrant political power. (Working paper). Promise Arizona and the Center for Community Change.