RGK Working Papers

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 32
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    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.
  • Item
    Who Gets USAID Decomcracy Assistance: Thinking About Foreign and in a Global Society
    (RGK Center: Summer Fellowship Program, 0000-00-00) Peterson, Lindsey