RGK Working Papers

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/45785


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 32
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    The Rise of School-Supporting Nonprofits
    (2012 RGK-Arnova President's Award for Nonprofit Research, 2013-10-31) Gazley, Beth; Nelson, Ashlyn Aiko
    This paper examines voluntary contributions to public education via charitable school foundations, booster clubs and PTAs/PTOs as an alternative to local revenues generated via the property tax. We employ panel data on school-supporting charities with national coverage from 1995 to 2010, which we geocode and match to school districts. We first document the meteoric rise of school-supporting nonprofits during this panel, and then estimate a series of regression models including both reduced-form and fixed effects specifications to examine the distributional consequences of voluntary distributions. We find that districts with higher perpupil expenditures and higher enrollments are more likely to have one or more operating schoolsupporting charities, but that the level of per-pupil voluntary contributions declines with student enrollment. Higher-poverty school districts are less likely to be served by a school-supporting nonprofit and receive significantly lower voluntary contributions on a per-pupil basis. Finally, impressive recent growth in the number and financial size of these school supporting charities since 1995 has not offset reductions in state aid. Moreover, we do not find sufficient evidence to conclude that voluntary contributions change the distribution of funding across school districts and undo school finance equalization.
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    Philanthropic Giving Through Municipalities In Israel: An Alternative or a Threat To The Future of Philanthropy
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Rudich-Cohn, Avishag
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    What Motivates Youth Civic Involvement?
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Jahromi, Parissa L.
    Though the topic of youth civic involvement is increasingly popular in social science research, the question of why some youth are civically involved while others are not is not yet well understood. In this paper, a developmental contextualist approach is used to address the following questions: What motivations do youth report for civic involvement? Do motivations differ across school contexts? A qualitative interview study using an in-depth semi-structured interview approach with 21 diverse youth was used to investigate questions concerned youth civic involvements and motivation. Interviews were coded using both theory-based content analysis methods and open coding in an iterative coding process. Results suggest five categories of motivations and two categories of de-motivators that emerged from youth reports of their reasons for civic involvement. There is variation in levels, types, and motivations for youth civic involvement both across and within groups with similar school contexts. An emergent finding is that civic motivations likely differ from motivations for other youth involvements. Implications are that civic motivations need to be understood in context and such understanding points to new insights regarding how opportunities can be structured to better facilitate civic involvement.
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    Revitalizing American Cities: Do Community Development Corporations Matter?
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Wright, Nathaniel S.
    Policy makers have been faced with identifying solutions to address poverty and other social problems facing U.S. cities. Community development corporations have emerged as major players in the rebuilding of cities across America. Research has shown that CDCs have been successful in their quest in the revitalization of neighborhoods and communities (Vidal, 1992). However, little research has focused on the success of their efforts on a city level. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature. Using data collected from the American Community Survey and Guidestar on U.S. cities and CDCs, this paper examines to what extent are CDCs revitalizing U.S. cities by developing three models of city revitalization. The study finds a negative relationship between the amount of monies spent by CDCs on programs and administration, and the amount of people living below poverty. Additionally, a negative relationship is also found between CDC expenditures and the percentage of vacant housing in U.S. cities.
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    Don't Change a Winning Team…Or Should You? The Impact of Social Interaction Among Nonprofit Leaders on Organizational Effectiveness
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Willems, Jurgen
    This paper provides a theoretical model that deals with the potential impact of social interactions among nonprofit leaders on the effectiveness of their organization. Five propositions included in the model and supported with an extensive literature review shed light on how the alignment (or misalignment) among nonprofit leaders can influence the organization’s outcomes. Three types of alignment are dealt with: (1) functional alignment, (2) motivational alignment, and (3) practices alignment. The proposed model will be the base for further research in order to confirm, adjust or reject the propositions made.
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    Edifice Complex: Building Ownership and Financial Strength of Nonprofit Theaters
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Faulk, Lewis
    This paper explores factors contributing to the financial capacity of nonprofit performing arts theaters. The analysis explains profitability and liquidity of 3,642 U.S. nonprofit theaters that filed IRS Form 990s from 1998-2007. Independent variables include measures developed by previous research on the financial health of nonprofit organizations, variables for different revenue streams as shares of total revenue, and exposure to real estate and mortgage debt. Findings show that controlling for organization age, size, and financial health measures, mortgage debt has a significant negative impact on theater profitability and negatively impacts liquidity for theaters with more than $1 million expenses. Contrary to common recommendations, revenue concentration, not diversification, and particularly having higher ratios of unearned, rather than earned, revenues correlate with greater financial capacity.
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    A Trellis for Nonprofits? The Growth of Government Civil Society Registries
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2010) Appe, Susan
    Civil society registries have emerged as a type of a government-implemented policy tool that, according to policymakers, aim to do everything from compile information, promote accountability and foster collaboration. I argue that these types of policy tools have profound consequences to the development of civil society. Drawing from literature on institutional isomorphism, policy studies, government-nonprofit contracting, and development studies and using a case study of Ecuador, this article intends to (1) explore the emerging phenomena of civil society registries; (2) examine the intentions and interpretations of such a registry; and (3) investigate its possible implications for civil society development and civil society-state relations. The article ends with a discussion on the possible implications for the development of civil society and directions for future research on civil society registries.
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    The Politics of Need and Politics of Politics: Exploring the Motives of Donative Actors to Social Service Nonprofit Organizations in a Highly Politicized Field
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Benson, Celeste
    This paper explores the capacity of several induced theories of philanthropic behavior to explain foundation grant-making patterns to nonprofit social service organizations working to address teenage pregnancy through counseling on “abortion alternatives”. It argues that theories of nonprofit sector founding which stress that nonprofits will arise as a response to need do not help to explain the presence of such organizations across U.S. states in this field. Instead it argues that grant making patterns in highly politicized fields may best be explained by conceiving of funders as strategic and rational political actors whose grant-making responds to structural opportunity and incentive.
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    Corporate Philanthropy: Are Corporations Strategic in Their Philanthropic Practices?
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2010) Verbenko, Olena
    This paper examines the diversity of corporate philanthropic practices and aims to determine whether corporations are strategic in their philanthropic giving. Using an original database including firm-level data on dollar donations for charitable purposes among American Fortune 500 companies, this paper looks at the kind of firms that participate in giving, the kind of giving programs these firms set up, and the structure of the foundation giving these firms chose. The definition and identification of strategic philanthropy is discussed and explored. The main empirical findings of this paper provide evidence that at present time firms continue practicing non-strategic philanthropy.
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    Who Gets USAID Decomcracy Assistance: Thinking About Foreign and in a Global Society
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Peterson, Lindsey
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    Constructing Meaning Through Service: Beyong Beliefs and Actions
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Gauthier, Chris
    Much of the literature on community service has sought to investigate the factors that compel individuals to participate. These studies have tended to investigate service using rational choice models or socialization and human capital perspectives. While this literature is useful it fails to address an important dimension of service, specifically the meaning that service has for individuals and how their service activities correspond to their vision of meaningful social change. This study proposes that there are different domains of service defined by the intersection of the type of work that an individual engages in (actions) and the individual’s vision of how meaningful social change occurs (belief). Rational choice or market models would predict that individuals serve exclusively in domains that align belief and action; however, drawing on in-depth interviews with college age volunteers, the data presented here suggests that volunteers often engage in service activities that do not conform to expectations. Despite the tension between action and belief, these individuals still see their service work as meaningful. The ways individuals make meaning of service that is out of step with an ideal alignment of belief and action outcomes are explored.
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    A New Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Firsov, Evgeny
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    The Safety Net as a Network
    (RGK Center Working Paper, Summer Fellowship Program, 2007) Liu, Helen K.
    The lack of a coherent understanding of what is meant by the American safety net made it difficult to have a meaningful discourse on the current condition. This paper proposes an alternative formulation of the social safety net based in network theory to overcome the shortcomings of the previous literature. The first part of the paper describes this approach, attempting to develop an alternative understanding of the safety net grounded in the actions of anti-poverty actors. Next is a list of propositions for measuring five dimensions of a safety net: the frame, structure, positions, influences, and the context. Three policy implications are derived from this new paradigm. First, shifting the level of analysis to network level allows policy makers to broaden the scope of the modern social safety net. Second, quantifying the interaction among actors reveals interdependency, which in turn redefines the power and influence of each actor within the network. Finally, the modern safety net could demonstrate a core-periphery structure. It calls for a new way of thinking about resource distribution and decision making channels of such unique structure.
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    Soldiers to Citizens: The Link Between Military Service and Volunteering
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2008-08-08) Nesbit, Rebecca
    Research has shown that military service is linked with some forms of political engagement, such as voting, especially for minorities. In this paper, we explore the relationship between military service and another measure of civic engagement— volunteering. Military service can help to overcome barriers to volunteering by helping to socialize people with a norm of civic responsibility, by providing social resources and skills that compensate for the lack of personal resources, and by making people aware of opportunities to volunteer and “asking” them to do so. The data used to explore this research question are from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) 2005 September supplement on volunteering. We find that military service is positively related to volunteering among blacks and Hispanics. Married veterans and veterans over the age of 65 are more likely to volunteer than nonveterans.
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    Drawing Lines, Spanning Boundaries: Managerial Perceptions of Innovation Value in Public and Nonprofit Organizations
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2009-06) Ronquillo, John C.
    Despite the large and varied selection of literature on innovation, questions about the diverse organizational aspects of innovation and the differences of innovation in public and nonprofit organizations still remain. This study compares public and nonprofit organizations on their perceived innovativeness and analyzes the environmental factors and organizational practices that are presumably related to innovation. This paper uses survey data from the National Administrative Studies Project III (NASP-III) that surveyed managers in public and nonprofit organizations in Georgia and Illinois over a three wave, 10-month span, on a variety of organizational topics. Using multinomial logistic regression, the findings show that variables such as flexibility, the ability to serve the public interest, and incentives are positively related to innovation in both public and nonprofit organizations. Variables such as employee and managerial risk aversion, and red tape negatively affect innovation. Other variables, including job security, organizational pride and performance-based promotion vary by sector.
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    The Young and the Restless: Generation Y in the Nonprofit Workforce
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) McGinnis, Jasmine
    The ability of nonprofit organizations to attract and retain the next generation of its workforce will play an integral role in the growth and vitality of the sector. Management literature provides a number of suggestions to nonprofit managers of how to enhance noncompensation related job characteristics in order to attract and retain a young workforce. Yet, this literature ignores the fact survey research indicates that Generation Y employees value compensation and non-compensation related characteristics differently than previous generations. Before management changes are proposed and implemented by nonprofit managers, we must first understand how the nonprofit sector compensates Generation Y employees. This study enhances our understanding of wage differentials by using data from the 2005 American Community Survey to examine a sample of 36,000 young, educated employees both within and across nonprofit, mixed and for profit industries. My findings indicate that the wage equity experienced by minorities and females found in previous research, is not consistent when comparing nonprofit and mixed industries. Additionally, one of the most notable findings (not discussed in previous research, but likely relevant to this sample) is the differences in earnings of employees with advanced degrees (Masters Degree and beyond). Employers in for profit industries are better compensating young employees who hold advanced degrees.
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    Getting to Know You: Awareness and Confidence in the Nonprofit Sector
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) McDougle, Lindsey M.
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    Assessing the Structure of Organizational Fields: A Multilevel Latent Class Analysis as a Tool for Institutional Analysis
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2009-07-17) Barringer, Sondra
    Within organizational research a question researchers are often interested in is the “why” question. A question that is not focused on as frequently is the how question. I argue in this paper that as researchers we need to pay more attention to how organizations are behaving within organizational fields before we begin to answer the why questions and in order to do this researchers need to expand their methodological tool kits. This analysis examines how institutions within the field of higher education have responded to the changing environmental conditions. Using multilevel latent class analysis I show that there are a number of distinct strategies that the organizations within this field are pursing as well as distinct deviations between the behavior of public and nonprofit institutions. This analysis of the changes occurring in the field of higher education demonstrates the ability of MLCA to break the organizational field down into more manageable units which allows for a deeper understanding of the ways in which these fields are changing over time. MLCA makes organizational fields more manageable both empirically and conceptually resulting in a more accurate assessment of the critical dynamics within the organizational fields
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    Art Investment Collections: A New Model for Museum Finance?
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 2009-07-17) Coslor, Erica
    This article examines the conflicting views about whether to consider artwork as a financial asset and suggests a modified museum finance strategy that would not raise stakeholder concerns about selling art in the permanent collection. By encouraging museums to begin a separate investment collection, artworks may ethically be sold to generate operating or other expenses. This strategy brings up issues of governance, accountability, and conflicts of interest, but if done correctly, it could leverage the art market access of museums to create a hedge for other types of endowment assets, while still upholding museum association guidance that works in a museum’s permanent collection are never to be sold in order to fund operating expenses.
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    Intersectoral Crossings: From Activists To Civil Servants
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Natal, Alejandro
    This paper examines the life-work histories of twenty four civil society activists that crossed the boundary of the third sector into the government in Mexico 2000-6). The motivation of the study was to document and analyse the experiences of these ‘cross-overs’, since, initial anecdotal evidence suggested that many of these individuals were working on the inside to promote progressive reforms. However, the data collected suggests a far less positive picture. It indicates that (a) some of these people were ill-prepared in terms of their strategy for working within government, both in terms of understanding how things worked inside government, and in having no clear mandate from their constituencies or supporters; (b) some also lacked the necessary skills to negotiate and build agendas and support with other actors within government to shape the policy process once inside; (c) that this made them highly vulnerable to ‘capture’ or immobilisation by interest groups once inside; and (d) that their reputations and relationships with the broader third sector were damaged as a result of their entry into government. By contrast, the evidence suggests that civil society strategies to shape the policy process from outside the government had been more successful in bringing about progressive social change. The paper concludes with reflection on (a) lessons for theorising about civil society and policy change in Mexico and (b) some reflections about civil society and government relationship.