Government–Nonprofit Cooperation: Anomaly or Necessity?
This paper challenges widespread philosophical and conceptual theories of the nonprofit sector and the state that question, or leave little conceptual room for, extensive cooperation between nonprofit organizations and government. To do so, the paper calls attention to shortcomings in the prevailing market failure/government failure theories of the nonprofit sector that have obscured recognition of key features of the sector that make cooperation with the state a natural and necessary path to effectiveness, and to certain inherent limitations of the state that make engagement of nonprofits a natural and useful path to state effectiveness. The article then outlines a set of conditions that must be met by both nonprofits and governments for this partnership to achieve the promise of which it is capable. © 2015 International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University