The future of the nonprofit sector: Its entwining with private enterprise and government

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193 Scopus citations


The nonprofit sector - neither private enterprise nor governmental - is growing rapidly, and not only in the United States. This article explores three questions about the sector, which includes large elements of such service industries as universities, hospitals, nursing homes, day-care centers, museums, social services, and organizations promoting medical research, environmental protection, and the arts. These questions are: (a) Why is the nonprofit sector expanding worldwide?; (b) How is the growth of nonprofit s affecting other parts of the economy?; and (c) What evidence is there that nonprofits make a difference, that they perform functions which private firms or government cannot perform? A major theme is that the sector's growth necessitates finding ways to increase revenues, and that has brought side effects, particularly as nonprofits have become more and more "commercial." In the process, borders between the nonprofit and both the for-profit and public sectors are being crossed increasingly, and with consequences that often pose problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-555
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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