Understanding Nonprofit Advocacy in Non-Western Settings: A Framework and Empirical Evidence from Singapore.

Chao Guo and Zhibin Zhang

Research on nonprofit advocacy in non-Western settings is still rather limited. In this article, we address this limitation by examining the advocacy practices of nonprofit charitable organizations in Singapore, a non-liberal democratic city-state in Southeast Asia with a history of colonial rule. We ask the following questions: What are the key environmental and organizational factors that influence the scope and intensity of advocacy activities of nonprofit organizations? In particular, what is the effect of the political context on the advocacy strategies and tactics among these organizations? To answer these questions, we present a three-factor explanatory model of nonprofit advocacy incorporating cause, capacity, and context. The research methodology entails a survey of nonprofit executives from a random sample of Singapore human and social service nonprofit organizations. Our findings shed light on how the various aspects of the political context – perceived opportunities and threats from government intervention and dependence on government funding – shape nonprofit advocacy in a non-Western setting.