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 12: Contracting out

Salvatore Alaimo


Nonprofit organizations in the United States contract out for services annually for an estimated total of more than $1 trillion, and contract management has grown as a profession, yet this activity has not garnered much attention from researchers and scholars. The purpose of this research is to help establish a research agenda and raise management concerns for this activity driven by performance, legal, social, economic, political and ethical implications. It examines examples of nonprofits contracting out for services, the dynamics of those contractual relationships, and fiscal year data from 22 945 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Types of services contracted, their cost, subsector trends, and the impacts of organizational size and specialization are revealed. Recommendations for nonprofit management practice and suggestions for how researchers and scholars can fill the existing gaps in our knowledge are discussed.

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