Episode 8: Too Many Nonprofits? + Nonprofit Collaboration
Fresh Research podcast

Part 1: Rebecca Nesbit and Laurie Paarlberg

Hardly a day goes by when someone isn’t questioning whether there are too many nonprofits in the United States. True, there are more than 1.5 million organizations, twice as many as two decades ago, but a group of researchers looked beyond the aggregate numbers to try to answer the question: Are there too many nonprofits?

“A Field Too Crowded? How Measures of Market Structure Shape Nonprofit Fiscal Health” was published earlier this year in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, a publication of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

In the first segment of this episode, we talk with Rebecca Nesbit, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs, and Laurie Paarlberg, Ph.D., the Charles Stewart Mott Chair on Community Foundations at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. They were joined in the research by Robert Christensen, Seung Ho-An and Justin Bullock.

Keep an eye out for the October issue of The NonProfit Times for a more in-depth story on this study.

Part 2: Mirae Kim

Small nonprofits find themselves in a classic chicken-and-egg dilemma. They need full-time staff to build organizational collaboration but they need to invest in full-time staff to form and maintain collaborations.

A recent study found that nonprofits with at least one full-time staff member are much more likely than those without any full-time staff “to be involved in formal collaborations that can help them obtain funding and meet client needs.”

Mirae Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Public Management and Policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, leads the Nonprofit Organization Research Panel (NORP). With Shuyang Peng of the University of New Mexico, she researched human resources capacity and collaboration among 229 human service nonprofits with annual gross receipts of less than $500,000.