Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management
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Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management

Second Edition

Edited by Bruce A. Seaman and Dennis R. Young

Building on the success of the first edition, this thoroughly revised and expanded edition explores (1) areas of general agreement from previous research; (2) areas of conflicting results and unexplored questions; (3) the relative roles of theory, data availability and empirical analysis in explaining gaps in our knowledge; and (4) what must be done to improve our knowledge and extend the literature. Selected original chapters addressing especially challenging topics include the value of risk management to nonprofit decision-making; nonprofit wages theory and evidence; the valuation of volunteer labor; property tax exemption for nonprofits; when is competition good for the third sector; and product diversification and social enterprise; international perspectives; the application of experimental research and the macroeconomic effects of the nonprofit sector.
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Chapter 6: Competition and collaboration: when are they good for the nonprofit sector?

Teresa D. Harrison and Renée A. Irvin


This chapter delineates a framework for judging the usefulness of collaborative strategy in the nonprofit/nongovernmental sector. Collaboration among nonprofit organizations is often promoted as the dominant strategy for operating under severe resource constraints. Ignoring the influence of competitive forces while promoting preferred collaborative strategies, however, can lead to recommendations for nonprofits that are well intentioned yet impractical. This chapter introduces benefits and potential detriments of both competition and collaboration within the nonprofit industry structure. Because many nonprofit goods are collective, society often pools resources in order to provide these services. These are also the topic areas where we often see duplication of services. However, collaboration is unlikely to occur owing to the separation between funding and direct outcomes. This chapter is therefore intended to inform funders and policy makers how to determine the best situations in which to foster either collaboration or competition among nonprofit organizations.

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