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Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States: A Reader

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by David C. Hammack
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Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States: A Reader by David C. Hammack

"It is a delight to seen an anthology on nonprofit history done so well."-Barry Karl, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"This is a volume that everyone concerned about nonprofits-scholar, practitioner, and citizen-will find useful and illuminating."-Peter Dobkin Hall, Program on Non-Profit Organizations
Yale Divinity School

"A remarkable book."-Robert Putnam, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

[One to come from John Simon, School of Law, Yale University by Jan. 13th and others are being solicited.]

Unique among nations, America conducts almost all of its formally organized religious activity, and many cultural, arts, human service, educational, and research activities through private nonprofit organizations. Though partially funded by government, as well as by fees and donations, American nonprofits have pursued their missions with considerable independence. Many have amassed remarkable resources and acquired some of the most impressive hospital, university, performing arts, and museum facilities in the world. While some have amassed large endowments, many that surpass one billion dollars, there are also hundreds of thousands of small nonprofits, most with no tangible resources at all.

How did the United States come to rely so heavily on nonprofits? Why has it continued to do so? What purposes do Americans seek to advance through nonprofits? How have Americans sought to control them? How have nonprofits been effected by the growth of government in the twentieth century? These questions suggest the complexity of the history of nonprofits in the United States. To help explore that history, this reader presents some of the classic documents in the development of the nonprofit sector along with important interpretations by recent scholars. The selections can be considered a representative part of a single extended conversation by the men and women who have taken part in the effort to define America and the American dream, even as they shaped what we now call the nonprofit sector. The statements by participants in the growth and development of the nonprofit sector are accompanied by essays written by historians and social scientists that provide concise surveys of important issues and periods. The essays give voice to those whose contributions to the American debate about voluntary associations and private institutions would otherwise be difficult to find or comprehend.

The selections can be considered a representative part of a single extended conversation by the men and women who have taken part in the effort to define America and the American dream, even as they shaped what we now call the nonprofit sector. The statements by participants in the growth and development of the nonprofit sector are accompanied by essays written by historians and social scientists that provide concise surveys of important issues and periods. The essays give voice to those whose contributions to the American debate about voluntary associations and private institutions would otherwise be difficult to find or comprehend.

Each selection has been chosen to define or illuminate important questions in the development of the nonprofit sector in the United States. Many include criticisms of particular nonprofit efforts, or of nonprofit activity in general. The intention is to provoke thought, not to establish an official list of readings. Though not every point of view could be included, the reader does reflect a general understanding of the nature of the nonprofit sector and its significance in the development of the United States.

Philanthropic Studies-Dwight F. Burlingame and David C. Hammack, general editors

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Ebook Details
Pages: 504
Size: 49.0 MB
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Date published:   1998
ISBN: 9780253028235 (DRM-EPUB)
2370007716371 (DRM-PDF)

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This product is listed in the following categories:

Nonfiction > Business & Economics > Nonprofit Organizations & Charities
Nonfiction > Social Science > Philanthropy & Charity

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03/26/2017
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