Nonprofits and Public Policy in the United States: The Evolution of Accountability

  • Dennis R. Young
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


The roots of the nonprofit sector in the United States predate the republic, but it was not until the 1700s that religious diversity and the need to establish self governing forms of organization far from the motherland led to the formation of various kinds of associational and corporate forms, including universities, fraternal organizations, clubs and professional societies (Hall 2006; Hammack 1998). Still, in the prerevolutionary period and in the early days of the republic, these forms were not considered to be entirely separate from the state. Colonial governments and later states took pains to limit and control the authority of corporations and charities (Hall 2006). Indeed, in the tenth of the Federalist Papers (Fairfield 1961), James Madison warned against the danger of “factions” that could undermine democratic government. It was not until the Dartmouth College case reached the Supreme Court in 1819 that limits were set on the degree to which the government could...


Nonprofit Sector Charitable Organization Private Foundation Policy Entrepreneur Internal Revenue Service 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Andrew Young School of Policy StudiesGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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