Local governments increasingly reply on charitable support to supplement their public service provision, particularly in subsectors where government funding is constrained. It is imperative, therefore, to assess the performance implications of these alternative service provision mechanisms. Utilizing a unique dataset of 82 large U.S. city park systems and informed by the theory of coproduction, we fill this gap by exploring the correlation between charitable support, measured as the total expenses of park-supporting charities in that city, and the performance of city park systems. We find a positive yet weak association between the expenses of park-supporting charities and the three indicators of park system performance: percentage parkland, public access to parks, and the number of playgrounds in parks. We conclude by discussing the wide array of public values these charities create beyond their financial contributions and advocating for a continuous assessment of their impact on public service performance.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Performance and Public Value in the ‘Hollow State’|
|Subtitle of host publication||Assessing Government-Nonprofit Partnerships|
|Publisher||Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2021|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Kelly LeRoux and Nathaniel S. Wright 2021.