In this article, we examine whether and how the institutional context matters when understanding individuals’ giving to philanthropic organizations. We posit that both the individuals’ propensity to give and the amounts given are higher in countries with a stronger institutional context for philanthropy. We examine key factors of formal and informal institutional contexts for philanthropy at both the organizational and societal levels, including regulatory and legislative frameworks, professional standards, and social practices. Our results show that while aggregate levels of giving are higher in countries with stronger institutionalization, multilevel analyses of 118,788 individuals in 19 countries show limited support for the hypothesized relationships between institutional context and philanthropy. The findings suggest the need for better comparative data to understand the complex and dynamic influences of institutional contexts on charitable giving. This, in turn, would support the development of evidence-based practices and policies in the field of global philanthropy.
This article seeks to explain how a dramatic new program of financial and technical assists to nonprofit organizations managed to surface on the active policy agenda of Russia’s government between 2009 and 2013 at precisely the same time the Russian government was suppressing foreign-funded nonprofit organizations as “foreign agents” and earning for itself a reputation as the perpetrators of a “global associational counter-revolution.” To answer this question, the article brings to bear the multiple streams framework (MSF) widely used to explain policy-agenda-formation in the United States and other countries and finds it sheds useful light on the agenda-setting dynamics recently at work in the evolution of government–nonprofit relations in Russia and, possibly, in other transitional societies.
Research Note: Testing a Comprehensive Explanation of Informal Volunteering on Russian National Sample Interview Data
The recent considerable body of research designed to explain variations in nonprofit development among countries tends to gloss over regional disparities that may pose challenges to, or distort, national conclusions. This article therefore takes such analysis down to the regional level in the “hard case” of post–Soviet Russia. What it finds is that, despite its reputation as a uniformly hostile environment for nonprofit organizations, Russia exhibits considerable regional variations in the scale and characteristics of its nonprofit sector. To determine what lies behind these variations, the article then tests four of the most prevalent theories, focusing, respectively, on variations in levels of prosperity, cultural sentiments, popular preferences for collective goods, and underlying power relations among key social actors. The results not only shed important light on the factors responsible for regional variations in Russia’s nonprofit development, but also demonstrate the general importance of bringing the subnational level into analyses of nonprofit development.
Based on a survey of a representative sample of nonprofit organizations, this article explores the impact of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) on the nonprofit sector. The study addresses two questions: What is the level of SOX adoption by nonprofit organizations? and How do we explain variations in the adoption level of SOX? Using Poisson regression models, our study finds that the level of SOX adoption in nonprofit organizations is determined to a large extent by nonprofit organizations’ accountability and transparency structure prior to SOX. When this factor is taken into account, contrary to previous studies, the level of SOX adoption by nonprofits is modest. In addition to the existing accountability structure, important variables in the statistical explanation of SOX adoption include CEOs’ familiarity with SOX, attitudes of nonprofit CEOs toward SOX, and organization size.