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Towards community engagement in the governance of non-profit organisations

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Nowadays, non-profit organisations (NPOs) face growing pressure to involve the community in their governing boards. Nevertheless, few empirical studies have been conducted on how they self-regulate community engagement in their governance. With the aim of filling the research gap on this topic, this article provides new insights into community engagement in non-profit governance, considering the case of Italian bank foundations (IBFs) in which community representation on the board is required by law, and self-regulation plays a pivotal role in defining mechanisms of engagement. Applying Guo and Musso's (2007) framework, a content analysis of IBFs' statutes highlights that detailed attention has been paid to formal procedures and descriptive representation mechanisms, while participatory arrangements are lacking. The analysis of the IBFs' case reveals additional mechanisms that are useful for better ensuring community representation within governance, and provides new mechanisms that could be considered by regulatory activity in NPOs where the community is on board by law.
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Keywords: BOARD OF TRUSTEES; GOVERNANCE; ITALIAN BANK FOUNDATIONS; STAKEHOLDER REPRESENTATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected] 4: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 2015

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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