Nonprofit Pay in a Competitive Market: Wage Penalty or Premium?

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Christian King, University of Central Florida & Gregory B. Lewis, Georgia State University

Do nonprofit organizations overpay or underpay their employees? One theory argues that employees choose to accept below-market pay so that they can do meaningful work for organizations whose missions they believe in. Nonprofits might even intentionally underpay workers so that only highly motivated people will apply.

An opposing theory argues that nonprofits overpay because they have fewer incentives to hold down wages. Nonprofits have tax advantages that private firms do not, meaning that they can create surpluses more easily, and they cannot give any “profits” to owners. Instead, they can share those surpluses with other stakeholders – with customers (through lower costs or higher quality services) and with employees (through higher wages).

We test these theories by examining the pay – and pay differences by race, gender, and sexual orientation – among registered nurses working for nonprofit, for-profit, and public hospitals. Continue reading “Nonprofit Pay in a Competitive Market: Wage Penalty or Premium?”

Can Philanthropy be Taught?

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Lindsey M. McDougle, Rutgers University; Danielle McDonald, Northern Kentucky University; Huafang Li, Grand Valley State University; Whitney McIntyre Miller, Chapman University; Chengxin Xu, Rutgers University.

Experiential philanthropy is an innovative teaching and learning approach that allows students to study social problems and then invest funds into nonprofit organizations that they consider to be best able to solve the social problems they learn about. Experiential philanthropy has become widespread within higher education and many within the field have begun recognizing its potential for developing future philanthropists. Despite this potential, there has been little evidence of the effectiveness of experiential philanthropy on students—or, communities. Therefore, we conducted a study to explore learning and development outcomes associated with the use of experiential philanthropy in the college classroom, and to ultimately answer the question: Can philanthropy be taught? Continue reading “Can Philanthropy be Taught?”

Children, Giving and Volunteering

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Christopher Einolf, Northern Illinois University and NVSQ author

When my daughter was born twelve years ago, my whole life changed overnight: gone were the days of slowly cooked meals, relaxing on Saturday afternoons, and going out at every weekend with friends. Time became very scarce, with long sleepless nights, loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning. Just getting to work on time was a challenge; doing things outside of work seemed impossible. Expenses went up too, with doctor bills, baby furniture, clothes, and car seats.

A new baby is a wonderful thing, but a new baby places huge demands on parents’ resources of money and time. How does the arrival of a baby affect a parent’s charitable giving and volunteering? And what happens when the baby grows older – does parents’ giving and volunteering change again? These questions were the subject of my recent NVSQ article, “Parents’ charitable giving and volunteering: Are they influenced by their children’s ages and life transitions? Evidence from a longitudinal study in the United States.” Continue reading “Children, Giving and Volunteering”

Rigour or relevance in philanthropy research? Choose both!

Tracey Coule, Research-to-Practice Editor, NVSQ.

1200px-UCB_Campanile‘Ivory tower academics have nothing useful to offer practitioners’. As a former non-profit practitioner-turned-academic responsible for running a professional doctorate, delivering management education, undertaking client-driven, applied research projects, and publishing research papers, I have often heard this charge from practitioners. Equally, I have heard academic colleagues refer to applied, client-commissioned research as the ‘poor relation’, ‘ugly sister’ or even not ‘proper’ research because it ‘lacks rigour’ and ‘can’t possibly produce high quality, publishable research’.

In this short piece, I would like to at least begin challenging both sets of assumptions by making three arguments. First, the rigour versus relevance debate is a fallacy. Second, the real issue (and solution) is one of language or, rather, translation. Third, it will take shared commitment and collective action to undertake such translation work and bridge the gap between academic, policy, and practice communities. Continue reading “Rigour or relevance in philanthropy research? Choose both!”