When Government Becomes the Principal Philanthropist: The Effect of Public Funding on Patterns of Nonprofit Governance

Chao Guo

This study uses board governance as an analytical lens for exploring the effects of government funding on the representational capacities of nonprofit organizations. A typology of governance patterns is first developed that captures the board’s strength relative to the chief executive and its representation of community interests. Using this typology and employing multinomial logit analyses of survey data from a sample of urban charitable organizations, the study tests how nonprofit governance is mediated by levels of government funding. Controlling for other relevant environmental and institutional factors, reliance on government funding decreases the likelihood that nonprofit organizations will develop strong, representative boards.

Public Administration Review 67, no. 3 (2007): 458-473