Public scrutiny and the need for funds in a more competitive environment are pressuring nonprofits to be more consciously aware of their reputation. This study used automated analysis with text mining and topic modeling of 177 articles directly linked to nonprofits’ reputation and published up to 2016. After identifying the most salient topics and conducting an in-depth, critical review of the most significant articles within each topic, four theoretical and managerial implications were identified. First, managers need to develop skills to deal with risk, the Internet, and social networks. Second, risk management is an emergent, still tentative, but important topic waiting for more contributions. Third, researchers can apply lexicons developed and validated by experts to uncover knowledge relevant to the entire nonprofit sector’s organizations. Last, the trends and topics highlighted can help scholars and practitioners make better decisions in research or responses to management challenges.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Anheier, H. K., Hass, R., & Beller, A. (2013). Accountability and transparency in the german nonprofit sector: A paradox? International Review of Public Administration,18(3), 69–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/12294659.2013.10805264.
Ashcroft, L. (2010). Marketing strategies for visibility. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science,42(2), 89–96. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000609351365.
Atim, C. (1999). Social movements and health insurance: A critical evaluation of voluntary, non-profit insurance schemes with case studies from Ghana and Cameroon. Social Science and Medicine,48(7), 881–896. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(98)00390-6.
Barnett, M. L., Jermier, J. M., & Lafferty, B. A. (2006). Corporate reputation: The definitional landscape. Corporate Reputation Review,9(1), 26–38. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.crr.1550012.
Bekkers, R., & Wiepking, P. (2010). A literature review of empirical studies of philanthropy: Eight mechanisms that drive charitable giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,40(5), 924–973. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764010380927.
Bell, K., Tanner, J., Rutty, J., Astley-Pepper, M., & Hall, R. (2015). Successful partnerships with third sector organisations to enhance the healthcare student experience: A partnership evaluation. Nurse Education Today,35(3), 530–534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2014.12.013.
Bronzetti, G., & Veltri, S. (2013). Intellectual capital reporting in the Italian non-profit sector: Analysing a case study. Journal of Intellectual Capital,14(2), 246–263. https://doi.org/10.1108/14691931311323878.
Burger, R. (2012). Reconsidering the case for enhancing accountability via regulation. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,23(1), 85–108. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-011-9238-9.
Calheiros, A. C., Moro, S., & Rita, P. (2017). Sentiment classification of consumer-generated online reviews using topic modeling. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management,26(7), 675–693. https://doi.org/10.1080/19368623.2017.1310075.
Campbell, J. L. (2007). Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An of corporate theory institutional social responsibility. Academy of Mamagement Review,32(3), 946–967. https://doi.org/10.2307/20159343.
Carman, J. G. (2009). Nonprofits, funders, and evaluation: Accountability in action. The American Review of Public Administration,39(4), 374–390. https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.11203.
Carman, J. G. (2011). Understanding evaluation in nonprofit organizations. Public Performance & Management Review,34(3), 543–553. https://doi.org/10.2753/PMR1530-9576340302.
Carvalho, A. O., Rodrigues, L. L., & Branco, M. C. (2017). Factors influencing voluntary disclosure in the annual reports of Portuguese foundations. Voluntas. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-017-9883-8.
Chen, Q. (2016). Director monitoring of expense misreporting in nonprofit organizations: The effects of expense disclosure transparency, donor evaluation focus and organization performance. Contemporary Accounting Research,33(4), 1601–1624. https://doi.org/10.1111/1911-3846.12218.
Christensen, T., Lægreid, P., & Rykkja, L. H. (2016). Organizing for crisis management: Building governance capacity and legitimacy. Public Administration Review,76(6), 887–897. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12558.
Comyns, B., & Franklin-Johnson, E. (2018). Corporate reputation and collective crises: A theoretical development using the case of Rana Plaza. Journal of Business Ethics,150, 159–183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3160-4.
Cortez, P. (2014). Modern optimization with R. Berlin: Springer.
Cortez, P., Moro, S., Rita, P., King, D., & Hall, J. (2018). Insights from a text mining survey on Expert Systems research from 2000 to 2016. Expert Systems,35(e12280), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1111/exsy.12280.
Crofts, K., & Bisman, J. (2010). Interrogating accountability: An illustration of the use of Leximancer software for qualitative data analysis. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management,7(2), 180–207. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766091011050859.
Curran, R., Taheri, B., MacIntosh, R., & O’Gorman, K. (2016). Nonprofit brand heritage its ability to influence volunteer retention, engagement, and satisfaction. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,45(6), 1234–1257. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764016633532.
Defourny, J., Gronbjerg, K., Meijs, L., Nyssens, M., & Yamauchi, N. (2016). Voluntas symposium: Comments on Salamon and Sokolowski’s re-conceptualization of the third sector. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,27(4), 1546–1561. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9743-y.
Dimaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review,48(2), 147–160.
Dumont, G. E. (2013). Transparency or accountability? The purpose of online technologies for nonprofits. International Review of Public Administration,18(3), 7–29. https://doi.org/10.1080/12294659.2013.10805261.
Eckerd, A., & Moulton, S. (2011). Heterogeneous roles and heterogeneous practices: Understanding the adoption and uses of nonprofit performance evaluations. American Journal of Evaluation,32(1), 98–117. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214010381780.
Eikenberry, A. M., & Kluver, J. D. (2004). The marketization of the nonprofit sector: Civil society at risk? Public Administration Review,64(2), 132–140.
Gent, S. E., Crescenzi, M. J. C., Menninga, E. J., & Reid, L. (2015). The reputation trap of NGO accountability. International Theory,7(3), 426–463. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1752971915000159.
Gilstrap, C. A., & Smith, S. M. (2016). Identity tensions during an ngo name change: How managers experience an international organization’s rebranding effort. International Journal of Strategic Communication,10(5), 445–461. https://doi.org/10.1080/1553118X.2016.1225302.
Grant, L. E., & Potoski, M. (2015). Collective reputations affect donations to nonprofits. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,33(4), 835–852. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.21868.
Guo, C. (2007). When government becomes the principal philanthropist: Th effects of public funding on patterns of nonprofit governance. Public Administration Review,67(3), 458–471. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00729.x.
Halfpenny, P. (2000). Trust, charity and civil society. In F. Tonkiss, A. Passey, N. Fenton, & L. C. Hems (Eds.), Trust and civil society (pp. 132–150). London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780333981795_8.
Harris, E., & Krishnan, J. (2012). The impact of tarnished auditor reputation on nonprofit income. International Journal of Auditing,16(2), 130–146. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-1123.2011.00445.x.
Heller, N. A. (2008). The influence of reputation and sector on perceptions of brand alliances of nonprofit organizations. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing,20(1), 15–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/10495140802165345.
Herman, M. L., Head, G. L., Jackson, P. M., Fogarty, T. E., & Kronstadt, J. (2004). Managing risk in nonprofit organizations: A comprehensive guide. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Howes, M. (1992). Linking paradigms and practice: Key issues in the appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of British NGO Projects. Journal of International Development,4(4), 375–396. https://doi.org/10.1002/jid.3380040404.
Huang, S., & Ku, H. (2016). Brand image management for nonprofit organizations: Exploring the relationships between websites, brand images and donations. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research,17(1), 80–96.
Hull, C. E., & Lio, B. H. (2006). Innovation in non-profit and for-profit organizations: Visionary, strategic, and financial considerations. Journal of Change Management,6(1), 53–65. https://doi.org/10.1080/14697010500523418.
Hume, C., & Hume, M. (2016). What about us? Exploring small to medium Australian not for-profit firms and knowledge management. Journal of Knowledge Management,20(1), 104–124. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-12-2014-0497.
Kaplan, R. S. (2001). Strategic performance measurement and management in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management & Leadership,11(3), 354. https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.11308.
Keating, E. K., & Frumkin, P. (2003). Reengineering nonprofit financial accountability: Toward a more reliable foundation for regulation. Public Administration Review,63(1), 3–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-6210.00260.
Kendall, J., & Knapp, M. (2000). Measuring the performance of voluntary organizations. Public Management Review,2(1), 105–132. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719030000000006.
Kotler, P., & Murray, M. (1975). Third sector management—The role of marketing. Public Administration Review,35(5), 467–472. https://doi.org/10.2307/974176.
Lecy, J. D., Schmitz, H. P., & Swedlund, H. (2012). Non-governmental and not-for-profit organizational effectiveness: A modern synthesis. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,23(2), 434–457. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-011-9204-6.
Liket, K., & Simaens, A. (2013). Battling the devolution in the research on corporate philanthropy. Journal of Business Ethics,126(2), 285–308. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1921-x.
Ling, Q., & Neely, D. G. (2013). Charitable ratings and financial reporting quality: Evidence from the human service sector. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management,25(1), 69–90.
Maier, F., Meyer, M., & Steinbereithner, M. (2016). Nonprofit organizations becoming business-like: A systematic review. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,45(1), 64–86. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764014561796.
Manetti, G. (2014). The role of blended value accounting in the evaluation of socio-economic impact of social enterprises. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,25(2), 443–464. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-012-9346-1.
Martínez, C. V. (2003). Social alliances for fundraising: How spanish nonprofits are hedging the risks. Journal of Business Ethics,47(3), 209–222. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026212902564.
McPherson, E. (2015). Advocacy organizations’ evaluation of social media information for NGO journalism the evidence and engagement models. American Behavioral Scientist,59(1), 124–148. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764203255211.
Meijer, M.-M. (2009). The effects of charity reputation on charitable giving. Corporate Reputation Review,12(1), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.1057/crr.2009.5.
Mitchell, G. E. (2015). The attributes of effective NGOs and the leadership values associated with a reputation for organizational effectiveness. Nonprofit Management & Leadership,26(1), 39–57. https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.
Mitchell, G. E., & Stroup, S. S. (2016). The reputations of NGOs: Peer evaluations of effectiveness. The Review of International Organizations. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-016-9259-7.
Moro, S., Cortez, P., & Rita, P. (2015). Business intelligence in banking: A literature analysis from 2002 to 2013 using text mining and latent Dirichlet allocation. Expert Systems with Applications,42(3), 1314–1324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2014.09.024.
Moro, S., & Rita, P. (2018). Brand strategies in social media in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management,301(1), 343–364. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-07-2016-0340.
Moxham, C. (2014). Understanding third sector performance measurement system design: A literature review. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management,63(6), 704–726. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-08-2013-0143.
Nguyen, N. (2006). The perceived image of service cooperatives: An investigation in Canada and Mexico. Corporate Reputation Review,9(1), 62–78. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.crr.1550010.
O’leary, S. (2016). Grassroots accountability promises in rights-based approaches to development: The role of transformative monitoring and evaluation in NGOs. Accounting, Organizations and Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2016.06.002.
Ortmann, A., & Schlesinger, M. (1997). Trust, repute and the role of non-profit enterprise. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,8(2), 97–119. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02354189.
Padanyi, P., & Gainer, B. (2003). Peer reputation in the nonprofit sector: Its role in nonprofit sector management. Corporate Reputation Review,6(3), 252–265. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540204.
Pfeffer, J., & Slancik, G. R. (1978). Social control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper & Row.
Poister, T. H., & Thomas, J. C. (2007). The wisdom of crowds: Learning from administrators’ predictions of citizen perceptions. Public Administration Review,67(2), 279–289. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00713.x.
Rho, E., Yun, T., & Lee, K. (2015). Does organizational image matter? Image, identification, and employee behaviors in public and nonprofit organizations. Public Administration Review,75(3), 421–431. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12338.
Salamon, L. M., & Sokolowski, S. W. (2016). Beyond nonprofits: Re-conceptualizing the third sector. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,27(4), 1515–1545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9726-z.
Sarstedt, M., & Schloderer, M. P. (2010). Developing a measurement approach for reputation of non-profit organizations. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing,15(3), 276–299. https://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.389.
Saxton, G. D., & Wang, L. (2014). The social network effect: The determinants of giving through social media. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,43(5), 850–868. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764013485159.
Schloderer, M. P., Sarstedt, M., & Ringle, C. M. (2014). The relevance of reputation in the nonprofit sector: The moderating effect of socio-demographic characteristics. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing,19(2014), 110–126. https://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.
Schmidt, D. E. (1993). Public opinion and media coverage of labor unions. Journal of Labor Research,14(2), 151–164. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02685662.
Smith, D. H., Stebbins, R. A., & Dover, M. A. (2006). Nonprofit terms & concepts. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Tidwell, M. V. (2005). A social identity model of prosocial behaviors within nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management & Leadership,15(4), 449–467. https://doi.org/10.1002/nml.82.
Torres-Moraga, E., Vásquez-Parraga, A. Z., & Barra, C. (2010). Antecedents of donor trust in an emerging charity sector: The role of reputation, familiarity, opportunism and communication. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences,6(29), 159–177.
Tremblay-Boire, J., Prakash, A., & Gugerty, M. K. (2016). Regulation by reputation: Monitoring and sanctioning in nonprofit accountability clubs. Public Administration Review,76(5), 712–722. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12539.
Wahlén, C. B. (2014). Constructing conservation impact: Understanding monitoring and evaluation in conservation NGOs. Conservation and Society,12(1), 77–88. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-4923.132133.
Willems, J. (2016). Organizational crisis resistance: Examining leadership mental models of necessary practices to resist crises and the role of organizational context. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,27(6), 2807–2832. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9753-9.
Williams, C. C. (2004). Community capacity building: A critical evaluation of the third sector approach. Review of Policy Research,21(5), 729–739. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-1338.2004.00104.x.
Witesman, E. M. (2016). An institutional theory of the nonprofit: Toll goods and voluntary action. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,45(4S), 97S–115S. https://doi.org/10.1177/0899764016651729.
Xie, Y., Hui, C. L., & Ng, S. F. (2010). The evaluation of quality attributes of NPO products: A case in medical garments. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence,21(5), 517–535. https://doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2010.481515.
Zchout, S. L., & Tal, A. (2016). Conflict versus consensus strategic orientations among environmental NGOs: An empirical evaluation. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations,28(3), 1110–1134. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-016-9723-2.
This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, grants UID/MULTI/4466/2016 and UID/GES/00315/2013. The authors also would like to thank the valuable suggestions made by the Editor and the Anonymous Reviewers during the peer-review process.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Appendix: Search Query
Appendix: Search Query
(Reputation OR image OR identity OR opinion OR judgment OR evaluation OR estimation OR belief) AND (“nongovernmental org*” OR “ngo*” OR “charities” OR “nonprofit*” OR “npo*” OR “foundations” OR “association*” OR “civic org*” OR “social org*” OR “religious congregation*” OR “faith based org*” OR “volunteer promotion org*” OR “advocacy org*” OR “labor union*” OR “cooperatives” OR “mutuals” OR “social enterprise*” OR “voluntary sector” OR “independent sector” OR “third sector” OR “civil society sector” OR “tax-exempt sector” OR “not-for-profit” OR “philanthropic sector” OR “social sector” OR “voluntary org*” OR “public interest group*” OR “public benefit entit*” OR “donee org*” OR “membership org*” OR “professional org*” OR “social org*” OR “civic org*” OR “social economy”).
About this article
Cite this article
Santos, M.R.C., Laureano, R.M.S. & Moro, S. Unveiling Research Trends for Organizational Reputation in the Nonprofit Sector. Voluntas 31, 56–70 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-018-00055-7
- Nonprofit organizations
- Text mining
- Topic modeling