Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

2014

Publication Source

Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research

Volume

5

Issue

1

Start Page

57

Last Page

75

Abstract

The literature suggests that nonprofit organizations provide civic benefits by promoting engagement within local communities. However, there exists minimal empirical evidence describing the ways in which nonprofits actually undertake this role. In order to address this omission, we conducted interviews with personnel of nonprofit organizations in one rural community in the United States. Our preliminary findings indicate that nonprofit organizations promote civic engagement through programs and activities that: 1) engage volunteers and donors; 2) bring community members together; 3) collaborate with organizations within and beyond the community; and 4) promote community education and awareness. Together, these findings help to develop a working model to understand the civic footprint of nonprofit organizations with methodological implications for future research that would seek to measure the extent to which nonprofits promote civic engagement.

Keywords

Nonprofits, Civic engagement, Voluntary associations, Civil society, Civic benefits

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Date Posted: 13 February 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.