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

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To Profit or Not to Profit is a coordinated set of studies of why fund-raising for nonprofits is mimicking that of private firms and what consequences it is having. User fees and revenue from "ancillary" activities - those not contributing directly to the organization mission except for the profit generated - are mushrooming, with each having important side effects. User fees may price out of the market some of the nonprofit's target group. Ancillary activities may distract the nonprofit from its central mission. These issues are examined from two perspectives. One focuses on issues that apply to nonprofits generally. A second set of studies focuses on specific industries.
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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: 9780521631808
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1 The nonprofit mission and its financing: Growing links between nonprofits and the rest of the economy 1
2 Competition, commercialization, and the evolution of nonprofit organizational structures 25
3 Modeling the nonprofit organization as a multiproduct firm: A framework for choice 47
4 Pricing and rationing by nonprofit organizations with distributional objectives 65
5 Differential taxation of nonprofits and the commercialization of nonprofit revenues 83
6 Interdependence of commercial and donative revenues 105
7 Conversion from nonprofit to for-profit legal status: Why does it happen and should anyone care? 129
8 Commercialism in nonprofit hospitals 151
9 Universities as creators and retailers of intellectual property: Life-sciences research and commercial development 169
10 Commercialism in nonprofit social service associations: Its character, significance, and rationale 195
11 Zoos and aquariums 217
12 Commerce and the muse: Are art museums becoming commercial? 233
13 The funding perils of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 249
14 Commercialism among nonprofits: Objectives, opportunities, and constraints 271
15 Conclusions and public-policy issues: Commercialism and the road ahead 287
App IRS Forms 990 and 990-T for nonprofit organizations 306
References 317
Index 336
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