Presenter Information

Amy E. BealeFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

In our economy there are three different sectors, (1) the government, (2) for-profit business, and (3) nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are businesses which do not earn money/return profits for their owner(s) but instead direct all their funds towards a certain cause. Nonprofit organizations are generally recognized by the public, however, as charitable entities organized to meet community needs through the use of donated volunteer time and money. As a result of this general perception of the nonprofit sector, many people believe nonprofits do not require profit or a large overhead net to accomplish their mission. Profit and overhead costs, however, are essential for organizational effectiveness and growth to happen. Therefore, public awareness regarding these misconceptions must be addressed. By reviewing research about public perceptions of the nonprofit sector, and attending the Montana Nonprofit Association annual conference, this research study discusses the general public’s confusion associated with nonprofit organizations and highlights three suggestions on altering current public perceptions. The three suggestions are (1) changing the name nonprofit organization to a more mutual/less confusing name, (2) implementing business-like features into nonprofit organizations’ operations, and (3) enacting public education through different forms of communication. This study used an anonymous and voluntary survey to see which of the three suggestions the Missoula community best responded to. This research study exhibits the data from the survey and discusses the results as a conclusion. Local nonprofit organizations can utilize this information to benefit their organization in becoming more efficient businesses because they will have direct information coming from their community.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 12:00 PM

Public Perceptions of the Nonprofit Sector

In our economy there are three different sectors, (1) the government, (2) for-profit business, and (3) nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are businesses which do not earn money/return profits for their owner(s) but instead direct all their funds towards a certain cause. Nonprofit organizations are generally recognized by the public, however, as charitable entities organized to meet community needs through the use of donated volunteer time and money. As a result of this general perception of the nonprofit sector, many people believe nonprofits do not require profit or a large overhead net to accomplish their mission. Profit and overhead costs, however, are essential for organizational effectiveness and growth to happen. Therefore, public awareness regarding these misconceptions must be addressed. By reviewing research about public perceptions of the nonprofit sector, and attending the Montana Nonprofit Association annual conference, this research study discusses the general public’s confusion associated with nonprofit organizations and highlights three suggestions on altering current public perceptions. The three suggestions are (1) changing the name nonprofit organization to a more mutual/less confusing name, (2) implementing business-like features into nonprofit organizations’ operations, and (3) enacting public education through different forms of communication. This study used an anonymous and voluntary survey to see which of the three suggestions the Missoula community best responded to. This research study exhibits the data from the survey and discusses the results as a conclusion. Local nonprofit organizations can utilize this information to benefit their organization in becoming more efficient businesses because they will have direct information coming from their community.