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The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?

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The public sector has increasingly adopted the methods and values of the market to guide policy creation and management. Several public administration scholars in the United States have pointed out the problems with this, especially in relation to the impact on democracy and citizenship. Similarly, nonprofit organizations are adopting the approaches and values of the private market, which may harm democracy and citizenship because of its impact on nonprofit organizations' ability to create and maintain a strong civil society. This article reviews the major marketization trends occurring within the nonprofit sector—commercial revenue generation, contract competition, the influence of new and emerging donors, and social entrepreneurship—and surveys research on their potential impact on nonprofit organizations' contributions to civil society. The article ends with a discussion of the significance of marketization in the nonprofit sector for public administration scholars and public managers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Nebraska, Omaha

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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