Shonali joined the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School in February 2021. Her previous research focuses on emerging digital trends in philanthropy and giving, specifically through crowdfunding platforms. Shonali’s doctoral thesis “Intimate Technologies for Development: Microphilanthropy, Crowdfunding Platforms, and NGO Fundraising in India” explores the social funding gaps filled by digital philanthropy and whether new models of giving are actively changing realities for development actors. This work, along with upcoming pieces in Development in Practice and Third World Quarterly expand existing understandings of digital social capital and the marketisation of giving, broadening bodies of literature on information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D) and philanthrocapitalism.
Prior to research, Shonali began her career as a development practitioner by spending five years working for international organizations in the United States, Morocco, Thailand, and Cambodia. Her roles focused around training charities in digital fundraising, strategic communications, and impact evaluation. Most recently, she was the Research Development Officer at Queen Mary University of London, where she worked with faculty across all disciplines to develop proposals for the Global Challenges Research Fund. Shonali also currently serves as a Program Consultant for her family’s charity, the Banerjee Education Foundation. Shonali holds a PhD in International Development from the University of Sussex, and MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in International Affairs and Political Science from The George Washington University.