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.