A Nonprofit Perspective on Business–Nonprofit Partnerships: Extending the Symbiotic Sustainability Model

Michelle Shumate, Yuli Patrick Hsieh, Amy O’Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the symbiotic sustainability model as a framework, this research investigates how many and with which businesses top nonprofit organizations report partnerships. We examined the websites of the 122 largest, most recognizable U.S. nonprofits. These websites included information about 2,418 business–nonprofit (B2N) partnerships with 1,707 unique businesses. The results suggest key differences with previous research on how U.S. Fortune 500 companies report B2N partnerships. Leading nonprofits report more B2N partnerships than U.S. Fortune 500 companies do. Furthermore, nonprofits do not maintain industry exclusivity in reporting B2N partnerships, like their business counterparts do. Finally, social issue industries do not exert the same isomorphic pressures on B2N partnerships that economic industries do. New propositions that extend the symbiotic sustainability model are presented to account for nonprofits’ unique goals for capital accumulation in B2N partnering and the industry characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1373
Number of pages37
JournalBusiness and Society
Volume57
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1359610).

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for the work of several undergraduate research assistants, including Francesca Mennella, Kristin Kim, and Alli Divine, and to numerous colleagues from the Research in Progress series at Northwestern University who commented on an earlier version of this article. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1359610).

Funding Information:
ASPCA Wildlife Conservation Society World Wildlife Fund Academy for Educational Development Public Broadcasting Service Project HOPE National Audubon Society Conservation International Foundation The Conservation Fund Greater Kansas City Community Foundation Pew Charitable Trusts Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Susan G. Komen for the Cure American Cancer Society National Kidney Foundation Doctors Without Borders USA American Red Cross World Emergency Relief Combined Jewish Philanthropies Campus Crusade for Christ International Lutheran Services in America Girls Inc. YWCA USA Children International

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

Keywords

  • NGO
  • corporate social responsibility
  • interorganizational network
  • nonprofit
  • symbiotic sustainability model

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Nonprofit Perspective on Business–Nonprofit Partnerships: Extending the Symbiotic Sustainability Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this