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

Front Cover
Burton A. Weisbrod
Cambridge University Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
Nonprofit organizations are increasingly resembling private firms, in a transformation bringing with it a shift in financial dependence from charitable donation to commercial sales activity. User fees and revenue from ancillary activities are mushrooming, with each having important side effects: pricing out of the market certain target groups, or distracting the nonprofit from its central mission. This book examines the reasons and consequences of the mimicry of private firms by fundraising nonprofit organizations. The authors focus first on issues that apply to nonprofits generally: the role of competition, analysis of nonprofit organization behavior, the effects of distribution goals and differential taxation of nonprofit and for-profit activity revenue, the effects of changes in donations on commercial activity, and conversions of nonprofits to for-profits. They then turn to specific industries: hospitals, universities, social service providers, zoos, museums, and public broadcasting. The book concludes with recommendations for research and for public policy toward nonprofits.

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The nonprofit mission and its financing Growing links between nonprofits and the rest of the economy
Basic issues and perspective
Competition commercialization and the evolution of nonprofit organizational structures
Modeling the nonprofit organization as a multiproduct firm A framework for choice
Pricing and rationing by nonprofit organizations with distributional objectives
Differential taxation of nonprofit and the commercialization of nonprofit revenues
Interdependence of commercial and donative revenues
Conversion from nonprofit to forprofit legal status Why does it happen and should anyone care?
Commercialism in nonprofit social service associations Its character significance and rationale
Zoos and aquariums
Commerce and the muse Are art museums becoming commercial?
The funding perils of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Overview conclusions and publicpolicy issues
Commercialism among nonprofits Objectives opportunities and constraints
Conclusions and publicpolicy issues Commercialism and the road ahead
IRS Forms 990 and 990T for nonprofit organizations

Industry studies
Commercialism in nonprofit hospitals
Universities as creators and retailers of intellectual property Lifesciences research and commercial development

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About the author (2000)

Kenneth Joseph Arrow was born in New York City on August 23, 1921. He received a bachelor's degree in social science and in mathematics from City College. He did his graduate work at Columbia University. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He taught at Harvard University from 1968 to 1979 and at Stanford University until retiring in 1991. He was an economist who was known for his contributions to mathematical economics. He wrote numerous books including Social Choice and Individual Values and Social Choice and Multicriterion Decision-Making written with Herve Raynaud. Arrow and John R. Hicks received the 1972 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for their work in welfare economics and the theory of social choice. In 2004, Arrow received the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor. He died on February 21, 2017 at the age of 95.

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