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Nonprofits and the Promotion of Civic Engagement: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the “Civic Footprint” of Nonprofits within Local Communities
Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (2014)
  • Michael Shier, University of Pennsylvania
  • Lindsey McDougle, Northern Illinois University
  • Femida Handy, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract
The literature suggests that nonprofit organizations provide civic benefits by promoting engagement within local communities. However, there exists minimal empirical evidence describing the ways in which nonprofits actually undertake this role. In order to address this omission, we conducted interviews with personnel of nonprofit organizations in one rural community in the United States. Our preliminary findings indicate that nonprofit organizations promote civic engagement through programs and activities that: 1) engage volunteers and donors; 2) bring community members together; 3) collaborate with organizations within and beyond the community; and 4) promote community education and awareness. Together, these findings help to develop a working model to understand the civic footprint of nonprofit organizations with methodological implications for future research that would seek to measure the extent to which nonprofits promote civic engagement.
Publication Date
Summer 2014
Citation Information
Michael Shier, Lindsey McDougle and Femida Handy. "Nonprofits and the Promotion of Civic Engagement: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the “Civic Footprint” of Nonprofits within Local Communities" Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lindseymcdougle/9/