The State of Nonprofit America

Second Edition

Today, America’s nonprofit organizations seem caught in a force field, buffeted by four impulses—voluntarism, professionalism, civic activism, and commercialism. Too little attention, however, has been paid to the significant tensions among these impulses. Understanding this force field and the factors shaping its dynamics thus becomes central to understanding the future of particular organizations and of the nonprofit sector as a whole.

In this second edition of an immensely successful volume, Lester Salamon and his colleagues offer an overview of the current state of America’s nonprofit sector, examining the forces that are shaping its future and identifying the changes that might be needed. The State of Nonprofit America has been completely revised and updated to reflect changing political realities and the punishing economic climate currently battering the nonprofit sector, which faces significant financial challenges during a time when its services are needed more than ever. The result is a comprehensive analysis of a set of institutions that Alexis de Tocqueville recognized to be “more deserving of our attention” than any other part of the American experiment.

Praise for the First Edition:

“Salamon’s volume presents a robust entry-level overview of the [nonprofit] sector from some of the most notable scholars currently in the field.”
—Arthur C. Brooks in Public Administration Review

The State of Nonprofit America gives us a much-needed assessment of one of the true treasures of American society—our private, nonprofit organizations—at a critically important moment in their development. All of those concerned about the special qualities of our society should read and ponder its message.”
—President Jimmy Carter, 2002 Nobel Laureate

“This book is arguably the most comprehensive and valuable collection of readings on the nonprofit sector.”
—Kevin Kearns in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

“This is a thorough, extensive portrait of the nonprofit sector in the U.S. and the major fields of endeavor, presenting the challenges facing the sector and its limitations, while acknowledging its strengths and contributions. All those who care about the sector will find something of interest.”
—Sarah E. Meléndex, Independent Sector