To Profit or Not to Profit: The Commercial Transformation of the Nonprofit Sector / Edition 1

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Nonprofit organizations are changing dramatically in the ways they are financed. They are becoming increasingly commercial, operating more like private firms. Far more is involved than the generation of revenue. As donations decline in importance and user fees and money-raising ancillary activities come to dominate, they bring side-effects on the social missions that justify public support. This book examines these little-recognized relationships for the overall nonprofit charitable sector and then focuses on each of six industries; important differences are found among hospitals, universities, social service providers, zoos, museums, and public broadcasting.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Perhaps the most disturbing current policy issue posed by the substantial nonprofit sector of the economy is the growing tendency of such enterprises to rely on self-financing through sale of their services more than on philanthropic support. Such commercialization, it is suspected, can distort their mission and undermine the arguments for tax exemption and other privileges. This very valuable book provides the data that both laymen and specialists need to evaluate the issues effectively." William J. Baumol, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, NYU

"Nonprofits are increasingly becoming competitors and collaborators with private firms and government agencies. In this useful book Burton Weisbrod has brought together important original research that helps us define and understand these important new relationships." Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale Law School

"...a book with a coherence and consistency of approach rare in edited collections." Margaret Harris, The Times Higher

"Few scholars have contributed more to our understanding of nonprofits over a longer period of time than Burt Weisbrod." Philanthropy Monthly

"...a timely and rich asset. Weisbrod has done a great service to the nonprofit sector through this work." Russell A. Cargo, George Mason University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521785068
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. The nonprofit mission and its financing: growing links between nonprofits and the rest of the economy Burton A. Weisbrod; Part I. Basic Issues and Perspective: 2. Competition, commercialization, and the evolution of nonprofit organizational structures Howard P. Tuckman; 3. Modeling the nonprofit organization as a multi-product firm: a framework for choice Burton A. Weisbrod; 4. Pricing and rationing nonprofit organizations with distributional objectives Richard Steinberg and Burton A. Weisbrod; 5. Differential taxation of nonprofits and the commercialization of nonprofit revenues Joseph J. Cordes and Burton A. Weisbrod; 6. Interdependence of commercial and donative revenues Lewis M. Segal and Burton A. Weisbrod; 7. Conversion from nonprofit to for-profit legal status: why does it happen and should anyone care? John H. Goddeeris and Burton A. Weisbrod; Part II. Industry Studies: 8. Commercialism in nonprofit hospitals Frank A. Sloan; 9. Universities as creators and retailers of intellectual property: life sciences research and economic development Walter W. Powell and Jason Owen-Smith; 10. Commercialism in nonprofit social service associations: its character, significance, and rationale Dennis R. Young; 11. Zoos and aquariums Louis Cain and Dennis Meritt, Jr; 12. Commerce and the muse: are art museums becoming commercial? Helmut K. Anheier and Stefan Toepler; 13. The funding perils of the corporation for public broadcasting Craig L. LaMay and Burton A. Weisbrod; Part III. Concluding Remarks: 14. Commercialism among nonprofits: objectives, opportunities and constraints Estelle James; 15. Conclusions and public policy issues: commercialism and the road ahead Burton A. Weisbrod; References.

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