Session Recap: Nonprofit Dynamics in Diverse Policy Environments: International and Domestic Perspectives
November 7, 2014 09:00 AM
By Bijetri Bose, University of Washington
Panel Chair: Stephanie L. Smith, University of New Mexico
Discussant: Renee Irvin, University of Oregon
Financial Impact of Nonprofit Organizational Changes- David Berlan, Florida State University
The Impact of Collaboration on Nonprofits' Human Capacity- Khaldoun AbouAssi, Texas A&M University and Suyeon Jo, Syracuse University
Nonprofit Advocacy in Community Development: A Perspective on Roles and Functions- Colleen Casey, University of Texas, Arlington
Choosing to Advocate: Understanding the Advocacy Activities of NGOs in Cambodia- Mary Kay Gugerty and David Suárez, University of Washington.
The panel on Nonprofit Dynamics in Diverse Policy Environments: International and Domestic Perspectives was marked by interesting rationalization about the effects of various nonprofit strategies that were tested using remarkable datasets. Two papers were based on custom built data sets on U.S. nonprofits that were created using public filings, administrative data, and surveys. The two other papers had data on nonprofits from structurally different countries: Lebanon and Cambodia.
The first paper by David Berlan estimates the financial impact of various organizational changes such as change in nonprofit name, mission statement, CEO, and others in the context of internationally-active nonprofits. While some strategies such as the change in name had a positive impact on financial performance, others had no significant effects.
Khaldoun AbouAssi, in his paper, empirically tests the impact of engaging in partnerships on three aspects of nonprofits’ human resource capacity: paid staff, volunteers, and the professional development of staff. The results indicate that organizations engaged in partnerships on agreed-upon objectives, specific projects, timeframes and resources have more paid staff and volunteers whereas the professional development of staff is contingent on the financial resources acquired from the partnerships.
Colleen Casey asked whether there is evidence of convergence or divergence in the advocacy strategies used by nonprofits, based on their role or function in community development. Preliminary results suggest that there are some similarities in the policy venues nonprofit organizations seek to inform, divergence appears in regards to the alliances and coalitions in which they participate as well as the outcomes they seek to influence.
On a related note, the presentation by Mary Kay Gugerty drew attention to the factors associated with advocacy efforts on the part of NGOs in Cambodia. There is evidence that NGOs with local leadership that were already engaged in coordinated activity with the government were more likely to engage in advocacy, even while professionalism was not associated with advocacy. The results also suggest that more market-oriented NGOs may be less likely to engage in advocacy, even controlling for other sources of income.