Nonprofit Segregation: The Exclusion and Impact of White Nonprofit Networks

Stephen Danley, Brandi Blessett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Nonprofits in cities often exist in segregated contexts in which leadership in high-capacity nonprofits reflects the whiteness of surrounding suburbs while leadership in grassroots nonprofits reflects the makeup of residency (low-income people of color). We build upon a small but burgeoning literature that uses critical race theory to better understand whiteness and segregation in the nonprofit sector. Using ethnographic data in Camden, New Jersey (NJ), we identify three key emergent findings on the impact of a segregated nonprofit sector: (a) the sector’s segregation reflects regional, residential segregation; (b) White, suburban overrepresentation in high-capacity nonprofits leads to a defense of White, suburban interests; and (c) these dynamics contribute to economic segregation within the sector. In our conclusion, we lay out a wider theoretical discussion of how these factors are interrelated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-526
Number of pages20
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The author thanks the Rutgers Research Council for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • critical race theory
  • nonprofit segregation
  • race
  • segregation


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