Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 22: Nonprofit organizations and public administration: the state of the field and future directions

Steven Rathgeb Smith


In many countries, nonprofit organizations are central to the delivery of public services and critical to the representation of citizen interests in the policy process. Yet, this nonprofit role is also in transition. The widespread emphasis on transparency and accountability is creating new pressures and incentives for nonprofits to focus on outcomes, evaluation, “pay-for-success” service models, and more reporting. Increased competitive contracting with nonprofits is creating ongoing financial pressures on nonprofits, especially smaller community-based agencies. At the same time, public managers are adopting new programs and policies requiring more collaboration and cooperation among public and nonprofit agencies to foster more integrated services, greater efficiency, and improved accountability. This chapter will specifically address the implications for the governance of public services of these emergent developments with recommendations for public and nonprofit managers to consider to improve the governance and delivery of nonprofit services.

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