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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Public Perceptions of and Trust in Associations and Volunteers

P. 1186-1209.
Smith D. H., Mersiyanova I. V., Bekkers R., Abu-Rumman S., Layton M., Roka K.

This chapter summarizes and categorizes findings from research on perceptions of volunteers and of membership associations (MAs) among actors in three types of positions vis-à-vis nonprofit organizations (NPOs): members of the general public, actors in government, and actors in the corporate world of business. A fairly stable core of these perceptions depends on individual characteristics of these stakeholders. Three failures of NPOs threaten perceptions of MAs: (1) amateurism, (2) overexclusion, and (3) lack of transparency, the potential for fraud, and violations of the non-distribution constraint in NPOs. MAs and other NPOs can influence perceptions by changing their behavior in interaction with stakeholders and in their communication strategies. Finally, the chapter summarizes findings from research on perceptions of MAs in four specific world regions.

In book

Public Perceptions of and Trust in Associations and Volunteers
Edited by: D. H. Smith, R. A. Stebbins, J. Grotz. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.