Saturday, September 13, 2008

Current Issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly Publishes Variety of Articles on Nonprofits

The recent issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly has a number of interesting articles concerning nonprofits.  Here are abstracts from a few of the articles in the September 2008 edition:

"Looking for a Few Good Women": Volunteerism as an Interaction in Two Organizations

by Tiffany Taylor (North Carolina State University), Christine Mallinson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Katrina Bloch (North Carolina State University)

A substantial body of research examines volunteerism via surveys of individual volunteers or volunteer organizations. The authors argue that researchers must expand this conceptualization of volunteering to include the interactive process between the volunteer and the organization. Using structuration theory as a guiding framework, the authors examine how volunteers' behavior is both shaped by and also affects the way in which two organizations are structured. In this comparative case study, the authors utilize participant observation, interviews, and archival analysis to illustrate this interaction in two organizations, a no-kill cat shelter and a resource organization for women who partner with women. They find that the character of the labor process, and specifically whether it entails the expenditure of emotional labor, leads to either burdensome or rewarding volunteer experiences. The authors further underscore the importance of examining emerging trends in "episodic volunteering" and shifts in nonprofit organizations toward more bureaucratized business forms.

Diaspora Philanthropy in an At-Risk Society: The Case of Coptic Orphans in Egypt

by Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff (George Washington University)

This article seeks to answer two questions: How can the potential gains from diaspora philanthropy be extended beyond individual households and sustained beyond one generation? And how can these gains be mobilized for poverty alleviation, justice, and development, especially in at-risk countries? Following reviews of potential diaspora contributions and the parameters of at-risk societies, the case of Coptic Orphans is presented. Coptic Orphans provides a model for channeling remittances to meet the subsistence and development needs of the poorest of the poor and sustaining these contributions beyond the first generation. It illustrates how diaspora organizations can effectively navigate the social and legal challenges of operating in an at-risk society. Finally, it suggests that diaspora organizations may increasingly overcome voluntary failures to become a significant sector in the international development arena.

Government Funding and Nonprofit Organizations

by William Luksetich (St. Cloud State University, Minnesota)

In this article, the author tests whether there is a simultaneous relationship between the number of nonprofits and government funding of nonprofit activity and whether the fundraising efforts of nonprofits are the means by which nonprofits affect the grants available to them. Estimates of the model are consistent with the proposition that government grants and contracts (program revenues) received by nonprofits are strong determinants of the number of nonprofits in a state. They lend support to the argument that nonprofit fundraising activities have an independent effect on the availability of the grants and contracts; however, although the number of nonprofit organizations per state has a similar effect on grants to nonprofits, they do not have an effect on the contacts they receive.

Serving Workers in the Human Services: The Roles of Organizational Ownership, Chain Affiliation, and Professional Leadership in Frontline Job Benefits

by Anna Haley-Lock (University of Washington) and Jean Kruzich (University of Washington)

A growing body of research has sought to understand forces shaping firms' approaches to employee compensation and the impacts of job benefits on both organizational performance and worker well-being. One such line of work has documented advantages from employers adopting generous compensation practices, as evidenced by more successful worker recruitment and retention. Little of this work, however, has attended to benefits provided within nonprofit and public human service settings or to low-level workers. Drawing on a sample of Wisconsin nursing homes, this study addresses this gap by examining the roles of ownership, chain affiliation, and professional leadership in compensation provided to nursing assistants. Results indicate that public and nonprofit ownership and chain membership are positively related to benefit levels. Workers fare unexpectedly less well with professional directors in for-profit and public settings but better within professionally led nonprofits.

Charity Brand Personality: The Relationship With Giving Behavior

by Adrian Sargeant (Indiana University), John B. Ford (Old Dominion University) and Jane Hudson (University of the West of England)

Charity brands have been found to assist income generation by enhancing donor understanding of an organization and what it stands for. Despite an increasing interest in this topic, few studies have addressed the dimensions of such brands and sought to explore the link (if any) with donor behavior. The authors report the results of a large-scale postal survey of donors to nine national nonprofits and conclude that traits associated with benevolence, progression, and conservatism are incapable of distinguishing between the study's participating brands. Traits associated with emotional engagement, service, voice, and tradition are capable of serving as the basis for differentiation and are also linked to facets of individual giving behavior.

For additional articles, see the September 2008 issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.


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