To Profit or Not to Profit: The Commercial Transformation of the Nonprofit Sector (Paperback)
  • To Profit or Not to Profit: The Commercial Transformation of the Nonprofit Sector (Paperback)
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To Profit or Not to Profit: The Commercial Transformation of the Nonprofit Sector (Paperback)

(editor), (foreword)
£31.99
Paperback 356 Pages / Published: 01/05/2000
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Nonprofit organizations are increasingly resembling private firms in a transformation bringing with it a shift in financial dependence from charitable donation to commercial sales activity. This book, first published in 1998, examines the reasons and consequences of the mimicry of private firms by fundraising nonprofits. User fees and revenue from 'ancillary' activities are mushrooming, with each having important side effects: pricing out of the market certain target groups; or distracting the nonprofit from its central mission. The authors focus first on issues that apply to nonprofits generally: the role of competition, analysis of nonprofit organization behavior, the effects of distribution goals and differential taxation of nonprofit and for-profit activity revenue, the effects of changes in donations on commercial activity, and conversions of nonprofits to for-profits. They then turn to specific industries: hospitals, universities, social service providers, zoos, museums, and public broadcasting. The book concludes with recommendations for research and for public policy toward nonprofits.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521785068
Number of pages: 356
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'How can we explain the existence of organisations such as charities and voluntary agencies, which deliberately eschew profit-making? Burton Weisbrod has been in the forefront of the debate on this question, arguing that a combination of market failure and government failure in the provision of jointly consumed goods gives rise to a residual demand that can be met efficiently by the 'third sector'... the puzzles about non-profit behaviour are not just matters for economists. The role of the third sector is very much a matter for public-policy debate and political decision-making ... This book reminds us that pressures on the sector to expand its role can ultimately damage the very features that have made it so attractive to politicians in the first place - its ability to respond efficiently to the needs of society's most vulnerable and excluded members.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
"Perhaps the most disturbing current policy issue posed by the substantial nonprofit sector of the economy is the growing tendency of such enterprises to rely on self-financing through sale of their services more than on philanthropic support. Such commercialization, it is suspected, can distort their mission and undermine the arguments for tax exemption and other privileges. This very valuable book provides the data that both laymen and specialists need to evaluate the issues effectively." William J. Baumol, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, NYU
"Nonprofits are increasingly becoming competitors and collaborators with private firms and government agencies. In this useful book Burton Weisbrod has brought together important original research that helps us define and understand these important new relationships." Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale Law School
"...a book with a coherence and consistency of approach rare in edited collections." Margaret Harris, The Times Higher
"Few scholars have contributed more to our understanding of nonprofits over a longer period of time than Burt Weisbrod." Philanthropy Monthly
"...a timely and rich asset. Weisbrod has done a great service to the nonprofit sector through this work." Russell A. Cargo, George Mason University

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