Tag Archives: volunteer

Government Regulation and the Political Activities of Nonprofits

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. We propose a conceptual model of the political activities of nonprofits that qualify for exemption under subsections of the Internal Revenue Code other than 501(c)(3), including social welfare organizations, civic leagues, social clubs, and so on, which considers three categories of explanatory factors: organizational capacity, financial strategy, and operating environment. Using a Heckman selection model with longitudinal IRS 990 data, we find government regulation to be an obstacle for nonprofits to engage in the policy process. Political activities of non-501(c)(3) organizations are also negatively associated with government support, suggesting these organizations perceive government intervention differently from 501(c)(3) organizations when engaging in political activities.

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Simmer Down Now! A Study of Revenue Volatility and Dissolution in Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Many nonprofit organizations operate under immense financial pressure. Revenue volatility is a common target for managers to minimize under the assumption that maintaining consistent revenue enhances the viability of the organization while high revenue volatility may disrupt planning. However, the relationship between revenue volatility and the viability of nonprofit organizations is poorly understood. This article presents the first empirical test of the link between volatility and dissolution in U.S. public charities from 2010 to 2018 (N = 2,126,894) using discrete time survival models. The results show that a 10% increase in revenue volatility predicts an increase in dissolution risk between 7% and 14%. In addition, the effect of revenue volatility varies by the age of the organization, suggesting volatility may be a greater threat to older organizations than to those newly formed. Implications for managers and future research are discussed.

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The Third Sector and Climate Change: A Literature Review and Agenda for Future Research and Action

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This article presents a summary review of the voluntary sector literature on third sector organizations (TSOs) and climate change. As governments around the world fail to respond adequately to the climate crisis, TSOs are called upon to work with governments, advocate for policy change, and support communities. However, the literature on TSOs and climate change remains limited. We reviewed 68 articles about TSOs and climate change and identified four mechanisms for voluntary action on climate change, which vary on two dimensions—focusing on advocacy or implementation and occurring within or outside government—and include policy advocacy, advocacy for behavior change, participation in governance, and direct interventions. We conclude with five key areas for future research: explaining the relationship between advocacy strategies and context, foregrounding the role of TSOs in climate governance, exploring direct interventions by TSOs, examining community-based TSOs, and linking TSO action and climate outcomes.

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Coalition Networks for the Green New Deal: Nonprofit Public Policy Advocacy in the Age of Social Media

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Social media is an important tool for nonprofit public policy advocacy. To help nonprofits effectively utilize social media in advocacy efforts, this study proposes a measurement framework of social media social capital based on social networks. Specifically, in this study, we examine the relationships between social media capital and symbolic, political capital on social media. We study how a group of nonprofits utilizes Twitter to advocate for the Green New Deal and their interaction with politicians, activists, and publics on social media during the 2019 presidential primaries. Our analysis shows that different dimensions of social media capital significantly influence nonprofits’ social media-based symbolic capital and political capital.

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Did 9/11 Affect Donations to Islamic Charities in the United States?

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This article studies the impact of exogenous shocks on nonprofit operations by assessing the effect of 9/11 on donations to Muslim American nonprofits. The first narrative promoted by civil rights groups and some Islamic charities argues that donations to Islamic charities have declined. Individuals are afraid of getting indicted by law enforcement agencies for advertently or inadvertently funding an organization that supports terrorism. The second narrative is that donations to Islamic charities have increased post-9/11 as donors push back against Islamophobia by supporting Muslim nonprofits. I systematically assess these narratives using difference-in-difference (DiD) methodology and find that 9/11 had no significant impact on overall contributions to Islamic charities. Although donations to internationally focused Islamic charities declined in the year following 9/11, when compared with domestic-focused Islamic charities, they also recovered shortly after that. Moreover, they did not reduce significantly when compared with non-Islamic internationally focused organizations.

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Volunteering in the United Kingdom During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Who Started and Who Quit?

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. I examine how volunteering dynamics changed in the United Kingdom during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic relying on data from the “Understanding Society” survey. Descriptive analyses and linear probability models yield three main findings: First, the share of volunteers (for all causes) dropped at least by a third during the first lockdown and did not increase until March 2021. Second, disproportional (absolute) declines occurred among the elderly, women, and those with higher education. Elderly individuals were particularly likely to quit their voluntary engagement, while the propensity of starting declined particularly among higher educated individuals. Third, volunteering in response to COVID-19 was performed by only 3.4% of all respondents and was more common among the higher educated, women, and experienced volunteers. These results suggest that volunteering might well decrease during disasters that affect the opportunities of potential volunteers contrasting the mobilizing role of disasters highlighted by earlier research.

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A Guide to the Canadian T3010 for Users of the U.S. Form 990

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This research note introduces nonprofit researchers accustomed to the U.S. Form 990 to the Canadian data captured on the T3010 financial form that will soon be available to researchers on a broad scale. Similar to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) T3010 is an annual information filing required of every Canadian charity that meets certain requirements. However, several elements in the data are unique to the Canadian context, while others are similar to the Form 990 but must be interpreted with attention to differences in definition and accounting practice that might otherwise complicate attempts at cross-national comparisons. Once these elements and the data’s limitations are understood, however, the forthcoming datasets will allow rich analysis for researchers and practitioners in areas that are yet unexplored with large data sources.

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Disciplinary Contributions to Nonprofit Studies: A 20-Year Empirical Mapping of Journals Publishing Nonprofit Research and Journal Citations by Nonprofit Scholars

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. In celebration of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly’s 50th anniversary, we present a bibliometric analysis of nonprofit research published between 1999 and 2019, within and outside of three core nonprofit journals—NVSQ, NML, and Voluntas. We seek to understand which journals, across scientific domains and social science disciplines, inform nonprofit research in one of three ways, by (a) publishing articles, (b) citing the three core journals, or being cited in these core journals. We found that nonprofit research published in economics and social sciences journals has kept pace with a large increase in indexed research. Meanwhile, though the core nonprofit journals robustly cite and are increasingly cited by business and management and public administration journals, they are less engaged with other social science disciplines. We discuss ways that the core journals could increase their visibility and penetration into these other disciplines and highlight perspectives potentially missing from the core journals.

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Switching From Corporate to Nonprofit Work: Career Transitions of Commercially Imprinted Managers

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Despite an increasing number of executives who transition from for-profit to not-for-profit organizations, our understanding of how commercially imprinted managers navigate the new setting remains limited. We collected data in the form of biographical interviews and observations with managers who had previously held a leading position in a commercial company and moved to work for a not-for-profit organization. We offer a typology of three responses that commercially imprinted managers used and identify conditions related to individuals’ biographies that facilitate the use of such responses, including social sector engagement, hybridity in previous job positions, international exposure, volunteering, and a diverse network.

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The Promise and Perils of Comparing Nonprofit Data Across Borders

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. The movement to democratize data and the advent of virtual research teams provides a near-perfect opportunity for an explosion of comparative nonprofit research. This manuscript provides a useful framework for scholars interested in utilizing comparative nonprofit data. By documenting how the lived context of the data is influenced by governmental, institutional, and social forces, we illustrate how effective comparative data work will involve knowing both the how (data details) and the why (institutional history) of the data elements. We offer three extended examples to illustrate the complexity of comparative data: the definition of nonprofit, the concept of governance, and the definition of financial liability. This approach provides a thoughtful path of not only careful empirical work but also the route to theoretical improvements as well. Furthermore, comparative work also leads the researcher to question assumptions and document the processes which shape the data, even within their singular context.

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Foundations of Influence: Intervention Pathways of Foundation Influence on City Governance and Policy

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Philanthropic foundations have assumed prominent roles in revitalizing distressed U.S. cities raising questions about their ongoing effects on governance and policy, institutions, access to decision-making, and outcomes. This exploratory, qualitative study examines foundation interventions in eight cities where foundations account for a substantial share of community and economic development financing. Foundations have significantly altered interventions which, when combined with their substantial giving and government austerity, significantly increases their potential for enduring influence on city governance and policymaking and fosters the growth of nonprofit governance in these cities.

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Socio-Structural Determinants in Volunteering for Humanitarian Organizations: A Resource-Based Approach

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This article examines who volunteers for humanitarian organizations as compared to volunteering for other organizations versus people not volunteering, in the Netherlands. Using high-quality survey data (N = 5,050), we depart from a classic theoretical resource-based approach to study what forms of resources play a role in the likelihood to volunteer for different types of civic associations. We find that education and subjective health as indicators of human capital matter in volunteering for most types of associations, however, more so for humanitarian organizations than some other types of organizations. Social capital is of larger importance in volunteering for leisure organizations than for humanitarian ones, while cultural capital is relevant for volunteering but not more for humanitarian associations. Some forms of capital are thus stronger related to particular organizations, showing the different demographic compositions of the distinguished associations. We recommend to be more sensitive in distinguishing explanations of volunteering for different associations.

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“I’m Not Doing It for the Company”: Examining Employee Volunteering Through Employees’ Eyes

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This article contributes to research on employee volunteering (EV) by focusing on the experiences of individuals to address the current overemphasis upon collective organizational outcomes. Drawing on qualitative research with employees and corporate social responsibility managers across seven companies, it demonstrates why employees’ experiences are central to understanding the complex mechanisms that link EV with organizational outcomes. The article reveals how both positive and negative organizational outcomes are influenced by the complex relationship between personal motivations and employees’ volunteering experiences—within their organization and within their community—combined with their broader reflexive interpretation of their employing organization and its values.

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Predictors of Nonprofit Ethno-Racial Diversity: Examining Local Community Demographics and Political Ideology

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Although the practitioner and the academic literatures both note the importance of ethno-racial diversity in the nonprofit sector, we pursue a better understanding of this sector’s ethno-racial diversity dynamics by exploring the drivers of ethno-racial diversity at multiple organizational hierarchy levels—boards of directors, executive staff teams, and full-time staff. Using data from nonprofit organizations participating in Candid’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, we find evidence that upward mobility for ethno-racial minority group members remains limited. Our findings also indicate a positive relationship between ethno-racial diversity in a nonprofit’s local community and ethno-racial diversity at each organizational hierarchy level. This relationship is partially mediated by the political liberalness of the local community, with the strongest mediating effects at the board of directors and executive staff organizational levels. This partial mediation suggests that the local environment’s tolerance of societal hierarchies and unequal outcomes may be related to nonprofit organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

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Supporting Volunteer Well-Being Through Disaster: Perspectives and Practices of a Youth-Led Informal Crisis Volunteer Group

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Embedded in growing expectations for post-disaster volunteer participation are questions of volunteers’ psychological well-being. Witnessing destruction and suffering, and the intense pressures of the work itself, can place heavy demands on crisis volunteers, particularly in “informal” community groups that may lack the structure, systems, and supports embedded within “formal” disaster response organizations. This article examines how the Student Volunteer Army in Aotearoa New Zealand has negotiated volunteers’ well-being across two disaster responses: an earthquake in 2011 and terrorist attacks in 2019. We identify three interrelated practices adopted by the group to support well-being: “action” (enabling opportunities for people to engage in volunteering); “reflection” (facilitating processes of discussion and debriefing); and “connection” (creating physical space and practices to enhance social interactions). Our discussion considers the implications of multi-layered practices of support that can develop within informal crisis volunteer groups.

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The Evolution of Nonprofit Governance Research: Reflections, Insights, and Next Steps

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. The literature on nonprofit governance and boards has grown substantially during the past 50 years as researchers from a variety of disciplines and fields have studied governance systems and processes to examine how they are organized, the practices they employ, and their relations with and impacts on nonprofits. This essay offers a domain-based narrative review of the research on the governance of nonprofit organizations and how it has developed over these 50 years. Building on literature reviews and a Delphi study, we summarize the progression of nonprofit governance research, employ a multi-dimensional framework to summarize and assess the state of the field, and offer recommendations for future study. We find the increasingly multinational and multicultural literature of the field has become more rich, nuanced, and increasingly inclusive of contingency, complexity, paradox, and the diverse theoretical perspectives that will enhance our understanding of nonprofit governance.

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Beyond the Partnership Paradigm: Toward an Extended Typology of Government/Nonprofit Relationship Patterns

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This article takes a fresh look at nonprofit/government relations in the context of both the partnership literature on collaboration and the closing space literature on repression. Following the Weberian ideal-type approach, we develop a heuristic tool for nuanced analyses of relations between the sectors in comparative research that is applicable in diverse political regime settings. We integrate foundational conceptions of Salamon, Young, and Najam to develop our framework, which we then illustrate with the cases of Russia and China. While repression is not necessarily the predominant characteristic of nonprofit–government relations in authoritarian regime settings, the reduction of intersectoral relations to collaboration strategies common in Western contexts also falls short of capturing the full complexity of the relationship. Rather than trying to establish national patterns, researchers need to remain sensitive to the coexistence of multiple government/nonprofit relationship types, affecting various parts of the nonprofit sector differently.

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Can We Chat . . . Privately? Using Twitter Chats to Facilitate Offline Engagement for Nonprofits

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This study examines a health-focused nonprofit organization’s Twitter chats, using qualitative content analysis and social network analysis (SNA) to describe the characteristics of participants and their patterns of interaction. Together, these analyses indicate that Twitter chats do not produce the dialogue that seems inherent to the format. The chats are driven by a small group of users, feature minimal levels of participation from most users, and are heavy on retweets rather than original messages. Nevertheless, these chats can serve to identify committed users and thereby facilitate future offline relationship building rather than being the primary source of relationship building. Offline interactions hold the potential to result in dialogue consistent with theoretical models; however, these interactions may instead serve organizational purposes within an advocacy context. Suggestions that focus on exploring the value of social media for generating offline engagement and relationship building for further research are made.

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Exploring the Regional Determinants of the Emergence of Social Enterprises in South Korea: An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Perspective

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. South Korea has experienced a rapid increase in the emergence of social enterprises that aim to address various social problems. However, little is known about the conditions that can affect the emergence of social enterprises at the regional level. This study examined the regional factors that influence the establishment of social enterprises using a panel dataset of observations on 17 metropolitan cities and provinces in South Korea from 2012 to 2019. The appearance of social enterprises in regional entrepreneurial ecosystems was found to be associated with the market, government, networks, financial resources, and human capital. We also found that the determinants of their emergence within South Korea’s social enterprise ecosystem vary based on their level of development and purpose. Based on the results, we suggested several policy implications and suggestions.

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