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 17: Assessing nonprofit performance

Joseph J. Cordes and Katherine Coventry

Abstract

The activities of nonprofit organizations are increasingly subject to performance evaluation. This chapter discusses the possibilities and limitations of using social benefit cost analysis as a framework for measuring nonprofit performance. Cost–benefit Analysis (CBA) and the closely related methodology of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) have become increasingly common means of evaluating the outcomes of a wide range of government regulations and public spending. Because there is considerable overlap between the outcomes that CBA is intended to measure and those that are the focus of a social return on investment (SROI) analysis, CBA offers a potentially useful framework for assessing non- profit performance. One pay-off from undertaking a CBA is that monetizing outcomes produces a single money metric that can facilitate comparisons among different program impacts. This feature of CBA, however, is also controversial, and both practical and conceptual objections have been raised to the monetization of nonprofit outcomes.

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