Test Cover Image of:  The Nonprofit Sector

The Nonprofit Sector

A Research Handbook, Third Edition

Edited by: Walter W. Powell and Patricia Bromley

The nonprofit sector has changed in fundamental ways in recent decades. As the sector has grown in scope and size, both domestically and internationally, the boundaries between for-profit, governmental, and charitable organizations have become intertwined. Nonprofits are increasingly challenged on their roles in mitigating or exacerbating inequality. And debates flare over the role of voluntary organizations in democratic and autocratic societies alike. The Nonprofit Sector takes up these concerns and offers a cutting-edge empirical and theoretical assessment of the state of the field.

This book, now in its third edition, brings together leading researchers—economists, historians, philosophers, political scientists, and sociologists along with scholars from communication, education, law, management, and policy schools—to investigate the impact of associational life. Chapters consider the history of the nonprofit sector and of philanthropy; the politics of the public sphere; governance, mission, and engagement; access and inclusion; and global perspectives on nonprofit organizations. Across this comprehensive range of topics, The Nonprofit Sector makes an essential contribution to the study of civil society.

Author Information

Walter W. Powell is Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. Patricia Bromley is Associate Professor of Education at Stanford University.


Mary Kay Gugerty:
"Now in its third edition, The Nonprofit Sector continues to build the field of nonprofit studies by exploring the full range of organizations, associations, actions, and interactions that constitute the voluntary sector in the US and globally. Featuring a broad and multidisciplinary range of scholars, this work provokes us to reexamine the history and envision the future of nonprofit scholarship and practice. The Nonprofit Sector generates a rich research agenda that will stimulate novel and innovative scholarship for years to come."

Vartan Gregorian, President:
"Walter Powell, Patricia Bromley, and Stanford University Press are to be congratulated for assembling this timely, unique, and definitive volume which not only chronicles the history of the nonprofit sector but also provides a broad but critical analysis of its current state. This third edition of The Nonprofit Sector presents a wide range of carefully chosen scholarship which will ensure that this book remains an invaluable resource to the growing number of scholars and practitioners in the sector around the world. It is an essential handbook for the leadership of nonprofit and philanthropic institutions, their governing boards, as well as public officials and journalists."

Joseph Galaskiewicz:
"The nonprofit form has spread around the world as a unique alternative to markets and governments. This third edition of The Nonprofit Sector provides great insight into this phenomenon, and is as exciting and informative as the previous two. With fresh faces and insights, it is a real joy to read."

Audience: Professional and scholarly;