Taking the non-profit pulse of six world cities
Calling all Sydney non-profit organisations: what’s your story and how might it compare to your counterparts in San Francisco, Seattle, Shenzhen, Taipei and Vienna?
In the largest study of its kind ever undertaken, a group of researchers around the world will analyse the characteristics and behaviours of non-profit organisations across the six cities and assess the impact they have on their communities.
UTS Business School Associate Professor Danielle Logue, of the Centre for Business and Social Innovation, and UNSW Associate Professor Hokyu Hwang, in collaboration with The Civic Life of Cities Lab at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, will lead the Australian team.
The survey will help us understand the changing role of NFPs in providing civic capacity in cities, at a time when forms of advocacy and traditional democratic institutions are being challenged, and there is rising inequality.
Associate Professor Danielle Logue
“This unique comparative project aims to provide evidence-based insights into the changing nature of the sector in terms of technology, organisational structures, financial viability, leadership and service provision,” says Associate Professor Hwang.
“The findings will equip nonprofit and foundation leaders with a better understanding of the value and influence their organisations bring to their urban environments, beyond the goods and services they provide for constituents,” he says.
The Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLC Lab) will combine both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse representative organisations in each city, providing a snapshot of the local sector to be repeated annually.
The global survey component of the study will ask questions about leadership, staffing, decision-making, collaboration, advocacy, funding, impact and performance, digital practices, and community integration.
“The survey will help us understand the changing role of NFPs in providing civic capacity in cities, at a time when forms of advocacy and traditional democratic institutions are being challenged, and there is rising inequality,” says Associate Professor Logue.
The CLC Lab will actively disseminate findings to practitioners, funders, and sector intermediaries such as consultants and information service providers, who can benefit greatly from empirical research of this nature.
The study will provide information on how the sector is using technological innovations to connect with constituents in new ways, and which organisations, or types of organisations, contribute heightened levels of civic capacity.
It will also provide insight into local experiences of global trends influencing the not-for-profit sector, such as social impact measurement and organisational transparency.
The CLC Lab grew out of the Stanford Project on the Evolution of the Nonprofit Sector. The original work provided in-depth knowledge of the U.S. nonprofit sector based on the study’s 200 randomly sampled nonprofit organisations in the San Francisco Bay Area over a period of 15 years.
For more information on the global project, go to Civic Life of Cities Lab, Stanford University: https://pacscenter.stanford.edu/research/civic-life-of-cities-lab/