Are Nonprofit Antipoverty Organizations Located Where They Are Needed? A Spatial Analysis of Census Tracts in Greater Hartford.

Jun Yan, Chao Guo, and Laurie E. Paarlberg

The geographic distribution of nonprofit antipoverty organizations has important implications for economic development, social services, public health, and policy efforts. With counts of antipoverty nonprofits at the census tract level in Greater Hartford, Connecticut, we examine whether these organizations are located in areas with high levels of poverty with a spatial zero-inflated-Poisson model. Covariates that measure need, resources, urban structure, and demographic characteristics are incorporated into both the zero-inflation component and the Poisson component of the model. Variation not explained by the covariates is captured by the combination of a spatial random effect and an unstructured random effect. Statistical inferences are done within the Bayesian framework. Model comparison with the conditional predictive ordinate suggests that the random effects and the zero-inflation are both important components in fitting the data. All three need measures—proportion of people below the poverty line, unemployment rate, and rental occupancy—are found to have significantly positive effect on the mean of the count, providing evidence that antipoverty nonprofits tend to locate where they are needed. The dataset and R/OpenBUGS code are available in supplementary materials online.

KEY WORDS: Intrinsic conditional autoregressive; Spatial random effect; Zero-inflated Poisson.

Online Stakeholder Targeting and the Acquisition of Social Media Capital.

Gregory D. Saxton and Chao Guo

The diffusion of social media has opened new possibilities for targeted stakeholder communication and, with it, new forms of organizational resources. This paper examines the nexus between social media-based stakeholder communication and the acquisition of social media-based resources, referred to here as social media capital. After laying out a conceptual mapping of both targeted stakeholder communication and social media capital, the paper turns to an inductive analysis of the relationship between the messages 117 US community foundations are sending to their core stakeholders on Twitter and subsequent levels of social media capital. The paper thus contributes to the existing literature by elaborating new forms of targeted stakeholder communication, a new type of organizational resource, and the relationship between the two.

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.

Attention Philanthropy: The Good, the Bad, and the Strategy.

Chao Guo and Gregory D. Saxton

Amid the cacophony of information about social projects, how do we call public and philanthropic attention to our cause? As this article explains, organizations must build and leverage an actionable audience, and the best framework for this is a three-stage pyramid model of social media–based strategy: reaching out to people, keeping the flame alive, and stepping up to action. But, warn the authors, do not chase attention at any cost: if we focus too much on gaining the public’s attention, we risk losing sight of our mission and accountability.

Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy

Chao Guo and Gregory D. Saxton

How are nonprofit organizations utilizing social media to engage in advocacy work? We address this question by investigating the social media use of 188 501(c)(3) advocacy organizations. After briefly examining the types of social media technologies employed, we turn to an in-depth examination of the organizations’ use of Twitter. This in-depth message-level analysis is twofold: a content analysis that examines the prevalence of previously identified communicative and advocacy constructs in nonprofits’ social media messages; and an inductive analysis that explores the unique features and dynamics of social media-based advocacy and identifies new organizational practices and forms of communication heretofore unseen in the literature.

Book — Social Entrepreneurship: An Evidence-Based Approach to Creating Social Value. Jossey-Bass.

Chao Guo and Wolfgang Bielefeld

Praise for Social Entrepreneurship:

“Guo and Bielefeld have written a masterful, comprehensive, theory-based, evidence-driven, cutting-edge guide that will be valuable to students and practitioners of the art and science of social entrepreneurship for years to come. A must-read for anyone interested in social problem solving and innovation in the public, nonprofit, or business sectors and in the networks and hybrid organizations that define the fields of action for contemporary social entrepreneurs.”
—Dennis R. Young, professor of public management and policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

“Guo and Bielefeld have mastered the topic of social entrepreneurship for its current and future practitioners at the graduate and undergraduate levels. They have emphasized the organizational basis of social entrepreneurship that necessarily integrates the nonprofit, public, and commercial sectors. They have further utilized an evidence-based approach that delicately balances theory and practice.”
—Gordon E. Shockley, associate professor of social entrepreneurship, Arizona State University School of Community Resources & Development

“Guo and Bielefeld blend theory and practice in this important new addition to our understanding of the way social entrepreneurs create value for society. With the field of social entrepreneurship expanding quickly, there is a growing need for order amidst the creative chaos, and this book brilliantly fills that gap. Social Entrepreneurship successfully pulls together many of the field’s emergent ideas, tools, and frameworks into a tightly woven account of the process of conceiving, planning, launching, and expanding a social enterprise. This will become an essential point of reference for students, practitioners, and scholars interested in the intellectual and practical challenge of creating social impact.”
—Peter Frumkin, professor of social policy and faculty director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania

Out of the Shadows: Nonprofit Governance Research from Democratic and Critical Perspectives

Chao Guo, Barbara A. Metelsky and Patricia Bradshaw

The goal of this book chapter is two-fold: 1) to review theoretical developments in the study of nonprofit governance from the perspectives of critical and democratic theories; and 2) to deconstruct the silences in the reviewed literatures, to reveal what has been kept in the shadows, and then identify research that might address these gaps. Consistent with critical and post-modern traditions, we start the chapter by declaring our commitment to democracy, inclusion, and power sharing. In the next section, we review and synthesize the democratic perspectives on the study of nonprofit governance, with a focus on theories of representation and participation. We then turn to the literature from various critical perspectives, and explore the roles that these perspectives play in illuminating often-neglected or overlooked aspects of nonprofit governance. We conclude with recommendations for a research agenda, and a discussion of how this agenda could inform the development of more participatory, inclusive, and change-oriented governance practices.

In C.J. Cornforth and W.A. Brown (eds.) New Perspectives on Nonprofit Governance. 2013. London: Routledge – Full Version