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Presidents and nonprofits: Illustrating compositional modeling of the U.S. nonprofit sector

Objectives

Nonprofits sit at the intersection of policy and politics. Compositional modeling presents an opportunity for nonprofit scholars to investigate trade-offs within the nonprofit sector.

Methods

Using U.S. nonprofit and political data from 1993 to 2013, I employ a dynamic pie modeling strategy to illustrate how federal politics affect the composition of the nonprofit sector.

Results

U.S. federal politics, measured as changes in presidential partisanship, correlate with trade-offs in the composition of the nonprofit sector. Democratic presidents are associated with increases in new Human Services (HU), Environment and Animals (EN), and International/Foreign Affairs (IN) nonprofits and decreases in new Arts/Culture/Humanities (AR), Education (ED), Health (HE), Religion Related (RE), and Unknown/Unclassified (UN) nonprofit organizations.

Conclusions

Theoretically, politics may play a greater role in the nonprofit sector than scholars currently give credence to. Empirically, compositional modeling strategies provide avenues for new theoretical and empirical insights into nonprofit organizations.

Zuhlke, S. R. Presidents and nonprofits: Illustrating compositional modeling of the U.S. nonprofit sector. Social Science Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.13409.