The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.97
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 40%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $31.97   
  • New (7) from $47.31   
  • Used (7) from $31.97   


The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector features the most insightful and influential readings on the nature, place, and roles of the nonprofit sector—the sector that sits between the market and government. This book discusses everything from Andrew Carnegie’s turn-of-the-century philosophy of philanthropy to the most recent writings by current scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines.

The second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated with the latest scholarship on the nonprofit sector, including new essays that analyze its theory, history, and organization; its tax-exemption status; and its blending with government sectors. Additional new selections explore social theories of nonprofit organizations and theories of giving and philanthropy. Also new to this edition is a section on the international nonprofit sector. Each part opens with a framing essay that identifies central themes and issues and provides an overview of sometimes competing points of view.

Thorough, topical, and accessible to students, this is the ideal text for courses on nonprofit organizations and management.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This work will prove invaluable in the new millennium as nonprofits face an ever-increasing array of challenges.”

"Steve Ott's book is extremely well done and fills a real need; namely, it covers the range of thoughtful explanations about why nonprofit organizations exist and why they are so important to a thriving free society.”
Professor John Bryson, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

"Professor Ott is a leader in nonprofit management education. He has assembled a group of authors who have a great deal of knowledge in the field. The reader provides a great overview of the subject.”
Dr. Naomi Bailin Wish, Center for Public Service, Seton Hall University

"Steven Ott has assembled an outstanding collection of reading on the nonprofit sector. It should be required reading for classes on this topic.”
Jeffrey L. Brudney, University of Georgia

"Like a gourmand at large in a vast farmer's market, Steve Ott has picked his way through an increasingly rich and diverse literature on the nonprofit sector. Then Ott, the chef, has artfully combined and integrated his ‘ingredients’ into a scholarly feast fit for both novices and more experienced students of the sector.”
Jacquelyn Thayer Scott, President & Vice-Chancellor, University College of Cape Breton

"A valuable teaching tool providing students with breadth, depth, and a variety of perspectives. Ott has done a wonderful job of compiling some of the most influential and readable sources available.”
Kevin Kearns, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, and President, The William J. Copeland Fund, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

"This collection offers a wide range of the best and most interesting work on nonprofit organization and the third sector.”
Roger Lohmann, Editor, Nonprofit Management and Leadership

“[The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector and Understand Nonprofit Organizations] work well together and are valuable resources that will help students, professionals, and scholars alike explore and understand the external and internal environments of nonprofit organizations. Overall, the volumes reach the editors’ goals of presenting a story of the nonprofit sector that is readable and focuses on the central ideas that are important for students and professionals to grasp. These books are now part of my ‘go-to’ books as an instructor for macro-level social work courses and as a cofounder and community organizer working with various stakeholder on a new social service initiative.”
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

“Overall, The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector reads easily, and its structure flows wisely through the major parts. The book raises very interesting issues about the changing nature of the nonprofit sector over different eras and across nations… Enlightening and very useful. I think that Ott and Dicke should be applauded for the outstanding efforts, which bridge the macro and micro levels of the nonprofit sector for the first time and consequentially enrich the intellectual understanding of the field.”
Public Administration Review

This collection of writings about the American nonprofit sector and its organizations discusses the history of philanthropy and current scholarship and practices. It contains previously published articles, chapters, and encyclopedia entries describing the most influential theories, concepts, and issues associated with the nonprofit sector. Topics include values and contributions to society, historical evolution, tax exemption, economic and political theories, social and community theories, organizational theories, giving theories, the blending of the sectors, and challenges facing the nonprofit sector. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813344911
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 967,909
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Steven Ott is a professor and center director at the University of Utah. He has served as a consultant to numerous nonprofit organizations, and has authored or edited many books and articles on the nonprofit sector.

Lisa A. Dicke is an associate professor at the University of North Texas. She serves on the Executive Council and on the Committee of the Nonprofit Management Education Section of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Foreword Kirsten A. Grønbjerg xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xix

Part I Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector

1 What Is the Nonprofit Sector?: Board Source (2009) 10

2 The Nonprofit Sector in Brief: Facts and Figures from the Nonprofit Almanac 2008: Public Charities, Giving, and Volunteering Amy Blackwood Kennard T. Wing Thomas H. Pollak (2008) 12

3 The Idea of a Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Peter Frumkin (2002) 17

4 Measuring Civil Society: The Johns Hopkins Global Civil Society Index Lester M. Salamon S. Wojciech Sokolowski (2004) 31

Part II The Nonprofit Sector's Distinctive Values and Contributions to Society

5 The Gospel of Wealth Andrew Carnegie (1889) 58

6 The Filer Commission Report-Giving in America: Toward a Stronger Voluntary Sector John H. Filer (1975) 63

7 The Impact of the Voluntary Sector on Society David Horton Smith (1973) 71

Part III Historical Evolution of Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

8 The Nonprofit Sector in Historical Perspective: Traditions of Philanthropy in the West Kevin C. Robbins (2006) 88

9 History and Theories of Nonprofit Organizations Thomas P. Holland Roger A. Ritvo (2008) 108

Part IV The Rationale for Tax Exemption and Tax Deductions

10 Tax-Exempt Organization Christopher Hoyt (1998) 121

11 A History of the Tax-Exempt Sector: An SOI Perspective Paul Arnsberger Melissa Ludlum Margaret Riley Mark Stanton (2008) 125

Part V Economic and Political Theories of the Nonprofit Sector

12 Government Failure Theory Dennis R. Young (1998) 151

13 Contract Failure Theory Dennis R. Young (1998) 154

14 And Lettuce is Nonanimal: Toward a Positive Economics of Voluntary Action Roger A. Lohmann (1989) 158

15 The Constitution of Citizens: Political Theories of Nonprofit Organizations Elisabeth S. Clemens (2006) 166

Part VI Social and Community Theories of the Nonprofit Sector

16 To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy Peter L. Berger Richard John Neuhaus (1977) 187

17 Nonprofit Organizations and Community Steven Rathgeb Smith Michael Lipsky (1993) 197

18 Organizational Social Capital and Nonprofits Jo Anne Schneider (2009) 203

19 Communities, Networks, and the Future of Philanthropy Julian Wolpert (1999) 215

Part VII Organization Theories of the Nonprofit Sector

20 Organizational Theory and Structure Helmut K. Anheier (2005) 231

21 Perspectives on Organizational Governance: Some Effects on Government-Nonprofit Relations J. Steven Ott (1993) 249

22 Organizations and Movements Doug McAdam W. Richard Scott (2005) 25

Part VIII Theories of Giving

23 What Is Altruism? Alan Wolfe (1998) 281

24 Doing Good David Horton Smith (2005) 291

25 The Call of Service: Satisfactions Robert Coles (1993) 297

26 Philanthropy in Communities of Color Bradford Smith Sylvia Shue Jennifer Lisa Vest Joseph Villarreal (1999) 308

27 The World We Must Build Charles T. Clotfelter Thomas Ehrlich (2001) 318

Part IX The Blending and Blurring of the Sectors

28 Third Party Government Dennis R. Young (1998) 336

29 Nonprofit Sector: Increasing Numbers and Key Role in Delivering Federal Services: United States Government Accountability Office (2007) 340

30 The Future of the Nonprofit Sector: Its Entwining with Private Enterprise and Government Burton A. Weisbrod (1997) 348

Part X The Nonprofit Sector Internationally: The Global Context

31 Government-Nonprofit Relations from an International Perspective Lester M. Salamon (2006) 367

32 State-linked Associational Life: Illuminating Blind Spots of Existing Paradigms Benjamin L. Read (2009) 385

33 Civil Society as Associational Life Michael Edwards (2009) 402

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)