Faculty & Staff

Heather MacIndoe, PhD

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director, Public Policy Program, McCormack Graduate School Graduate Program Director, Public Policy Doctoral Program


photo of Heather MacIndoe

Areas of Expertise

Nonprofit Organizations, Philanthropy, Public and Private Funding for Social Services, Organizational Theory


PhD, University of Chicago, Sociology
MA, Stanford University, Sociology
BA, Wellesley College, Economics and American Studies

Additional Information

Professor MacIndoe's research applies theoretical frameworks from organizational sociology to address questions concerning the organizational behavior of nonprofit organizations, patterns of public and private funding to nonprofit organizations, and the role of nonprofits in public policy.

A current research project, The Boston Area Nonprofit Study, consists of the first academic survey of Boston-area nonprofits in over two decades. This research is being conducted with Emily Barman (Boston University). The study focuses on three organizational practices in the nonprofit sector: engagement in policy advocacy, the use outcome measurement to evaluate nonprofit services, and involvement in inter-organizational collaborations to achieve nonprofit missions. This research is funded by The Boston Foundation, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, and the Rappaport Institute of Greater Boston at Harvard University.

Professor MacIndoe received a Public Service Grant (2013) for a new project, "Reinforcing the Safety Net: A Collaborative Survey of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector." This statewide survey of Massachusetts nonprofits is being conducted in partnership with the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

Professor MacIndoe serves as the elected chair (2013-2015) of the Sociology and Social Welfare Division of Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). She previously served as chair (2009-11) of the Community Research and Development Division of SSSP.

Professor MacIndoe was appointed as a commissioner (2012-2015) to the City of Somerville Commission for Women by Mayor Joseph Curtatone. The commission's mission is education, advocacy, and outreach on behalf of women.

Professor MacIndoe's research is published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Policy Forum, Mobilization, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and Sociological Forum. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Teaching in the Public Policy PhD Program:

Foundations of Public Policy Analysis I
Research Methods I

Teaching in the Public Administration Program:

Foundations and Philanthropy Workshop

Joint Program Offerings:

Public Policy Challenges Facing Urban Nonprofit Organizations
Public Policy, Organizations, and Social Change