Corporate‬ density is especially potent for the growth of ‪elite‬-oriented nonprofits—but not social welfare nonprofits—when local networks and cultural norms support elite mobilization

In “Golfing Alone? Corporations, Elites, and Nonprofit Growth in 100 American Communities” (open access) Christopher Marquis, Gerald F. Davis & Mary Ann Glynn examine the link between corporations and community by showing how corporate density interacts with the local social and cultural infrastructure to affect the growth and decline of the number of local nonprofits between 1987 and 2002, focusing on two subpopulations of nonprofits in 100 American cities: (1) elite-oriented cultural and educational institutions and (2) social welfare-oriented organizations. They find that corporate density enhances the growth of both types of nonprofits, as does location in the northeast United States and a long-established business community, but corporate density is especially potent for the growth of elite-oriented nonprofits—but not social welfare nonprofits—when local networks and cultural norms support elite mobilization. Despite globalizing trends, the local geographic community continues to be an important unit of analysis for unpacking multisector organizational processes among corporations and nonprofits.

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