Study Guide


Ashley, S. (2010). Nonprofit Competition in the Grants Marketplace Exploring the Relationship Between Nonprofit Financial Ratios and Grant Amount, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 21(1) 43-57.

1. What does Ashley mean by "the supply side" and "the demand side" of the competitive system of foundation grant making?

2. What exactly does Ashley examine in her research on donor behavior?

3. According to Ashley, what are foundations often credited for?

4. What differences between individual donors and foundations in the grants process does Ashley think may lead to differences in donation behavior ?

5. What is the difference between a nonprofit organization's financial efficiency and its financial health?

6. What factors does a nonprofit organization's financial efficiency include?

7. What factors are used to measure a nonprofit organization's financial health?

8. What were Ashley's hypotheses regarding the relationships in the competitive grants market?

9. What data did Ashley analyze to test her hypotheses?

10. What conclusions did Ashley reach about donation behavior in the nonprofit market?


Bishop, S., (2010). Building Programmatic Capacity at the Grassroots Level: The Reactions of Local Nonprofit Organizations to Public Participation Geographic Information Systems, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 39(6) 991–1013.

1. According to Bishop what now forces nonprofit organizations to explain their financial decision making to contributors?

2. Why are smaller nonprofits challenged by the requirements of identifying and measuring program outputs and outcomes?

3. Why are geographic information systems (GIS) a possible means for improving the analytical and program evaluation of smaller nonprofits?

4. What is Bishop's research question regarding the application of spatial analysis techniques to the operations of nonprofit organizations?

5. Why is the use of GIS and data sharing met with apprehension and resistance by nonprofit organizations?

6. Whose perceptions did Bishop's survey attempt to capture?

7. What did Bishop attempt to identify using GIS software?

8. How did Bishop obtain the data for her spatial analysis?

9. What kinds of questions did Bishop ask on her survey?

10. What conclusions did Bishop reach about the use of geographic information systems in the nonprofit sector?


Briggs, E., (2010). Toward a better understanding of volunteering for nonprofit organizations: Explaining volunteers; pro-social attitudes. Journal of Macromarketing, 30(1), 61-76.

1. According to Briggs et al., why is volunteerism important?

2. Although they do not compete for profits, when do nonprofit organizations engage in market competition?

3. Why has the recruitment and retention of volunteers become a major priority for nonprofits?

4. What did Briggs et al., attempt to test with their model?

5. What assumptions does Briggs’s conceptual model, Behavioral Reasoning Theory (BRT), hold about individuals’ behavior?

6. What differences do Briggs et al., maintain between attitudes and values?

7. What is the causal relationship between an attitude and an individual’s beliefs and values?

8. What was Briggs’s research method?

9. What were Briggs’s research results?

10. What were Briggs’s conclusions?


Cornut F., (2012). The strategic plan as a genre, Discourse & Communication, 6(1) 21–54.

1. What do Cornut et al., mean when they state that strategic plans have a generic quality?

2. How did Cornut et al., study strategic plans to discover their generic quality?

3. What aspects of the texts did Cornut et al., examine through automated, computerized analysis?

4. What aspect of the texts did Cornut et al., have to examine through careful reading and manual coding of each text?

5. What did Cornut et al., discover about optimism and commonality in strategic plans?

6. What did Cornut et al., discover about temporal orientation in strategic plans?

7. What did Cornut et al., discover about interpretative viability in strategic plans?

8. What did Cornut et al., discover about the notion of stance in strategic plans?

9. What did Cornut et al., discover about common generic moves in strategic plans?

10. What conclusions did Cornut et al., reach about the genre strategic plan?


Isbell, M. G. (2012). The role of boundary spanners as the interorganizational link in nonprofit collaborating. Management Communication Quarterly, 26(1), 159-165.

1. According to Isbell, why do nonprofit organizations need to partner with other organizations?

2. In what way do nonprofit organizations suffer when they partner with other organizations?

3. How does Isbell define boundary spanners?

4. How does boundary spanning in interorganizational collaborations challenge the assumption that boundary spanning is itself a collaborative enterprise?

5. What are the roles of boundary spanners?

6. What is challenging about conceptualizing the individual-level communication of boundary spanners?

7. According to Isbell, how should boundary spanners’ collaborative interactions be conceptualized?

8. What identity issues of collaborative members does Isbell identify in the research on boundary spanners?

9. According to Isbell, what avenues to be explored remain in the research on boundary spanners?

10. What does Isbell conclude about boundary spanner identity?


Marnoch, G., (2008). A Comparison of the Annual Reports Presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the English National Health Service, Public Performance & Management Review, 31(4) 570–603.

1. According to Marnoch what role do annual reports play in the operations of public organizations?

2. What does Marnoch think about the truthfulness of annual reports?

3. What is the point of Marnoch's examination of the structure and content of the narrative developed in annual reports?

4. What aspects of annual reports did Marnoch examine through narrative analysis?

5. Why does Marnoch believe, "Annual reports may be less of an “account of record” by which the organization’s performance is known and judged?"

6. What two opposing perspectives on the organization's relationship to the marketplace does Marnoch identify in his comparative analyses of annual reports?

7. What differences in format does Marnoch identify in his analyses of annual reports from the VA and the NHS?

8. What differences in language does Marnoch identify in his analyses of annual reports from the VA and the NHS?

9. What aspects of the context of the communication does Marnoch believe can not be measured using computer software?

10. What recommendations does Marnoch have for developing a readability index for annual reports?


Morphew, C., (2006). Mission Statements: A Thematic Analysis of Rhetoric Across Institutional Type, The Journal of Higher Education, 77(3) 456-471.

1. What do Morphew and Hartley list as the two potential benefits of mission statements?

2. What do Morphew and Hartley list as the superficial and inauthentic uses of mission statements?

3. What is Morphew and Hartley's research question?

4. How did Morphew and Hartley acquire their data for answering their research question?

5. What did Morphew and Hartley look for in their data?

6. With what hypothesis did Morphew and Hartley approach the analysis of their data?

7. What commonalities across the groups did Morphew and Hartley discover in the analysis of their data?

8. What disparities between public and private institutions did Morphew and Hartley discover in the analysis of their data?

9. What did Morphew and Hartley conclude from their analysis about the style of writing in mission statements?

10. What did Morphew and Hartley conclude from their analysis about the utility of mission statements?


Nah, S., (2013). Modeling the adoption and use of social media by nonprofit organizations, New Media Society, 15(2) 294–313.

1. What is the goal of Nah and Saxton's paper on nonprofit social media?

2. What aspect of the literature on nonprofit organizations do Nah and Saxton want to correct?

3. What four dimensions of an organization’s instrumental use of social media do Nah and Saxton include in their theoretical framework?

4. What three different strategic approaches to mission fulfillment do Nah and Saxton examine?

5. What capacity-related factors in nonprofit organizations do Nah and Saxton examine?

6. What key elements of nonprofit organizations’ governance do Nah and Saxton examine?

7. What aspects of nonprofit organizations’ external resource environment do Nah and Saxton examine?

8. What sample of nonprofit organizations do Nah and Saxton draw their data from?

9. What data do Nah and Saxton collect?

10. What conclusions about nonprofits' use of social media do Nah and Saxton reach?


Sargeant, A., (2004). Donor Trust and Relationship Commitment in the U.K. Charity Sector: The Impact on Behavior, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 33(2) 185-202.

1. According to Sargeant, why is trust so important in the discussions about charitable giving?

2. What particular aspect of the discussions about trust and charitable giving has been troubling to researchers, policy makers, and senior practitioners?

3. How does Sargeant plan to study the relationship between trust and charitable giving?

4. How does Sargeant characterize the services provided to donors and beneficiaries by nonprofit organizations?

5. To operationalize trust how does Sargeant define it?

6. In formulating the focus of his study, what difference does Sargeant observe between commercial sector buyers and typical charity donors?

7. What variables about the behavior of typical charity donors are key in the hypotheses of Sargeant's study?

8. How did Sargeant obtain his data on typical charity donors?

9. What conclusions did Sargeant reach that he believed would be a matter of concern for all fundraisers?

10. In addition to building trust, what other efforts did Sargeant recommend that nonprofit organizations undertake to engage donors in higher levels of giving?