Resource Constraints or Cultural Conformity? Nonprofit Relationships with Businesses

Abstract

Nonprofit interactions with businesses have become increasingly diverse, but which nonprofits establish relationships, and to what extent do relationships depend on the form or type of tie? Focusing on nonprofit collaboration with businesses and donations from businesses, we test arguments based on sociological institutionalism and resource dependence theory. We find that nonprofits relying on earned income, nonprofits led by individuals with management degrees, and rationalized nonprofits all are more likely to report collaborations with businesses, aligning with expectations from institutional theory. For donative ties between businesses and nonprofits, we find that rationalized nonprofits are more likely to have charitable gifts from businesses. However, nonprofits with earned income are less likely to have business donations, and funding diversity has a salient positive effect. These results reveal important but paradoxical institutional and resource dependence effects. We conclude with a discussion of our divergent findings and set an agenda for additional research on the topic.

Résumé

Les interactions des organisations sans but lucratif avec les entreprises sont devenues plus encore diversifiées, mais quelles sont parmi ces organisations celles qui établissent des relations et dans quelle mesure ces dernières dépendent-elles de la forme ou du type de connexion? Nous intéressant principalement à la collaboration des organisations sans but lucratif avec les entreprises ainsi qu’aux dons émanant de ces dernières, nous testons les arguments fondées sur la théorie de l’institutionnalisme sociologique et de la dépendance à l’égard des ressources. Nous constatons que les organisations sans but lucratif fonctionnant grâce à des revenus gagnés, celles dirigées par des individus titulaires d’un diplôme de gestion ainsi que les organisations rationalisées sont toutes plus susceptibles de faire état de collaborations avec les entreprises, s’alignant ainsi sur les attentes de la théorie institutionnelle. Pour ce qui a trait aux liens relatifs aux donations entre les entreprises et les organisations sans but lucratif, il nous apparaît que les organisations rationalisées sont plus susceptibles de recevoir des dons caritatifs de la part des entreprises. Cependant, les organisations sans but lucratif réalisant des revenus reçoivent moins de dons des entreprises et la diversité du financement a un impact positif remarquable. Ces résultats mettent en évidence des effets importants mais paradoxaux en matière institutionnelle et de dépendance à l’égard des ressources. Nous terminons par une discussion sur nos constatations divergentes et définissons un programme de recherche supplémentaire sur le sujet.

Zusammenfassung

Das Zusammenspiel zwischen Nonprofit-Organisationen und Unternehmen ist zunehmend diverser Natur; doch welche Nonprofit-Organisationen bauen Beziehungen auf und inwieweit hängen Beziehungen von der Art und Form der Verbindung ab? Wir konzentrieren uns auf die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Nonprofit-Organisationen und Unternehmen sowie auf Unternehmensspenden und prüfen Argumente, die auf dem soziologischen Institutionalismus und der Ressourcenabhängigkeitstheorie beruhen. Wir kommen zu dem Ergebnis, dass auf ein Erwerbseinkommen angewiesene Nonprofit-Organisationen, von professionellen Managern geleitete Nonprofit-Organisationen und rationalisierte Nonprofit-Organisationen eher mit Unternehmen zusammenarbeiten, was im Einklang mit den Erwartungen gemäß der Institutionentheorie steht. Im Hinblick auf Spendenverbindungen zwischen Unternehmen und Nonprofit-Organisationen sehen wir, dass rationalisierte Nonprofit-Organisationen mit höherer Wahrscheinlichkeit Spenden von Unternehmen erhalten. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Nonprofit-Organisationen mit Erwerbseinkommen Unternehmensspenden erhalten, ist hingegen geringer, und die Finanzierungsdiversität hat einen auffallend positiven Effekt. Diese Ergebnisse lassen wichtige, doch gleichzeitig paradoxe institutionelle und ressourcenabhängige Folgen erkennen. Wir enden unseren Beitrag mit einer Diskussion über die divergenten Ergebnisse und erstellen einen Plan für weitere Forschungsarbeiten zu diesem Thema.

Resumen

Las interacciones de las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro con las empresas se han vuelto cada vez más diversas, pero ¿qué organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro establecen relaciones, y en qué medida las relaciones dependen de la forma o tipo de vínculo? Centrándonos en la colaboración de las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro con las empresas y las donaciones de las empresas, pusimos a prueba argumentos basados en la teoría del institucionalismo sociológico y la dependencia de recursos. Encontramos que las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro que dependen de ingresos percibidos, las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro lideradas por individuos con títulos de gestión, y las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro racionalizadas, todas ellas son más propensas a informar de colaboraciones con empresas, alineándose con las expectativas de la teoría institucional. En cuanto a los vínculos de los donativos entre las empresas y las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, encontramos que las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro racionalizadas son más propensas a recibir donaciones benéficas de las empresas. Sin embargo, las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro con ingresos percibidos son menos propensas a recibir donaciones de las empresas, y la diversidad de financiación tiene un efecto positivo sobresaliente. Estos resultados revelan efectos institucionales y de dependencia de recursos importantes pero paradójicos. Concluimos con un debate sobre nuestros divergentes hallazgos y establecemos una agenda para realizar una investigación adicional sobre el tema.

摘要

 非盈利机构与公司企业的互动交往愈来愈显多样化。但是哪些非盈利企业在建立此类联系呢?联系的类型和方式带来的影响如何?我们重点考察了非盈利机构与公司企业之间的合作关系以及公司企业为非盈利机构提供的捐赠,评析了一些基于社会慈善机构制度论和资源依赖理论的论点。我们发现,依靠经营收入的非盈利机构、其领导者具有企业管理风格的非盈利机构、以及合理化的非盈利机构,都倾向于与公司企业展开合作,这与慈善制度理论正好相契合。关于公司企业与非盈利机构之间的捐赠联系,我们发现合理化的非盈利机构更容易从公司企业处获得捐赠礼物。不过,自有收益的非盈利机构却不大容易获得公司企业的捐赠,获得资金的渠道的多样性也具有明显的积极效果。这些结果显示出了重要的但似乎内在矛盾的制度效应以及资源依赖效应。 最后,我们讨论了多个研究发现,并提出了关于本课题的进一步研究计划。

要約

企業と非営利団体の相互関係がますます多様化している。しかしながら、どの非営利団体がその関係を構築しているか、非営利団体が企業との関係においてどの程度繋がりを持ち、どのようなタイプに依存しているかという疑問がある。企業と非営利団体との連携および企業の寄付に焦点を合わせて、社会学の制度尊重主義に基づく議論と資源依存理論を検証する。給与所得を当てにしている非営利団体、経営学の学位を持つ個人が率いる非営利団体、合理化された非営利団体のすべてが、制度上の理論に沿って企業との提携を報告する傾向にあることがわかった。企業と非営利団体の寄付による結びつきに関して、合理化された非営利団体は企業による慈善のための寄付を受ける傾向があるといえる。しかしながら、給与所得がある非営利団体は企業の寄付を受けない傾向にあり、様々な寄付から明らかな効果がみられるといえる。これらの結果により重要性は示されたが、逆説的な制度上の自然依存効果が明らかになる。異なる調査結果には議論の余地があるため、さらなる研究のための議論を行いたい。

ملخص

في حين يعرض أدب المتطوعين رؤى متنوعة في الدوافع ، الترتيبات الشخصية، والديموغرافية الإجتماعية وخصائص المتطوعين، البحوث نادرا˝ ما تركز نسبيا˝ على الحوافز والسياق التنظيمي الذي يؤثر في المتطوعين. هذا الإستعراض يهدف إلى تسليط الضوء على العوامل التنظيمية التي تؤثر بشكل جماعي على المتطوعين لمناقشة التنسيق بين المتطوعين. البحث المنهجي في الأدب كشف 386 منشورا˝ ذات صلة بتنسيق التطوع. قد تم تحليل ملخلصاتهم في عملية صياغة رموز شفرية مفتوحة وانتقائية، التي أدت إلى التعرف على ثلاث مجموعات رئيسية. أنتج هذا الاستعراض الأدبي المقترحات التالية : جادلت ممارسات وأدوات إدارة المتطوعين (المجموعة 1) ، وبقوة أكبر، المواقف التنظيمية تجاه المتطوعين وكذلك قيم جزء لا يتجزأ من المنظمات (المجموعة 2)، أصبحت العمليات الإجتماعية المعتدلة، من العوامل الحاسمة التي تؤثر على المتطوعين. الإستعراض يتناول أيضا السمات الهيكلية التي تحد من مساحة عمل المتطوعين وتنسيق المتطوعين (المجموعة 3). يختتم بمناقشة القيود الموجودة في مجال بحوث المتطوعين الحالية ويقدم آثار لمساعي البحث في المستقبل. هكذا، هذا الجزء من العمل يمثل نظرة شاملة على التنسيق التطوعي وبناء نظرية عن طريق تجميع المعلومات بعناية عن السياق التنظيمي للعمل التطوعي من مختلف التخصصات والتقاليد البحثية، مما أدى إلى تدخل منطق مختلف ، ودمج هذه البيانات في إطار تحليلي.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Recent research questions findings about increasing nonprofit reliance on earned income (Child 2010).

  2. 2.

    Using our interview quotes before formally introducing our data is unorthodox, but we feel the qualitative material aids in clarifying the different aspects of collaboration. We thank an anonymous reviewer for raising this issue.

  3. 3.

    We used the list of 501(c)(3) operating charities that filed an IRS Form 990 for 2000. The list was provided by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS). Organizations exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code are charitable nonprofits and eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Operating organizations are the subset of 501(c)(3) nonprofits—distinguished from charitable funding organizations such as private foundations or public supporting organizations—that provide direct programs or services to clients and causes for the public benefit. It is important to note that, for a variety of reasons, some nonprofits do not report financial data to the Internal Revenue Service. As a result, the patterns that we capture may not be fully representative of all nonprofits in the United States because we miss the “grey matter” in the sector (Grønbjerg et al. 2010).

  4. 4.

    Additional information on the construction of this variable is provided in Hwang and Powell (2009).

  5. 5.

    The reference category for the nonprofit sector dummy variables is all remaining major fields according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (2011)—human services, environment, international, public benefit, and religion.

  6. 6.

    This may result from a desire in the business sector to donate to stable nonprofits, demonstrating some risk aversion in their philanthropic practice. We thank an anonymous reviewer for drawing attention to this point.

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Correspondence to David F. Suárez.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 5 and 6.

Table 5 Correlation matrix of variables
Table 6 Logistic regression, determinants of business collaboration and donations without organizational size

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Suárez, D.F., Hwang, H. Resource Constraints or Cultural Conformity? Nonprofit Relationships with Businesses. Voluntas 24, 581–605 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-012-9267-z

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Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Business
  • Institutional theory
  • Resource dependence