What Affects the Strategic Priority of Fundraising? A Longitudinal Study of Art, Culture and Humanity Organizations’ Fundraising Expenses in the USA

  • Young-Joo LeeEmail author
  • Jongmin Shon
Original Paper


Fundraising is a crucial activity for many nonprofit organizations. However, scant research has examined how the strategic priority of fundraising activities may vary across organizations and over time. This study addresses this gap in knowledge by examining how economic and organization-specific financial conditions predict the priority of fundraising in a nonprofit organization. In particular, this study examines the changes in the ratio of art, culture and humanities organizations’ fundraising expenses to their total expenditure during the period of 2005–2012, which includes the great recession of 2007–2009. The findings reveal that, when facing an economic crisis, the ratio of fundraising expense to total expenditure increases, suggesting that fundraising becomes a higher priority under a hostile economic condition. The analysis also reveals differences in nonprofits’ reaction to recession depending on their revenue mix, with donative nonprofits reacting more sensitively than commercial nonprofits.


Fundraising Recession Revenue mix Resource allocation and organizational priority 



This study was not funded by a third party.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public and Nonprofit Management Program, School of Economic, Political and Policy SciencesUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.School of Public Affairs and AdministrationRutgers University - NewarkNewarkUSA

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