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Nonprofits for Hire

Nonprofits for Hire

The Welfare State in the Age of Contracting

Steven Rathgeb Smith, Michael Lipsky

ISBN 9780674626393

Publication date: 03/19/1995

In recent years, government’s primary response to the emergent problems of homelessness, hunger, child abuse, health care, and AIDS has been generated through nonprofit agencies funded by taxpayer money. As part of the widespread movement for privatization, these agencies represent revolutionary changes in the welfare state. Steven Smith and Michael Lipsky demonstrate that this massive shift in funds has benefits and drawbacks. Given the breadth of government funding of nonprofit agencies, this first study of the social, political, and organizational effects of this service strategy is an essential contribution to the current raging debates on the future of the welfare state.


  • The most comprehensive account we have of the history, extent, nature, and meaning of delivering social services that are paid for by government and delivered through nonprofit organizations.

    —H. Brinton Milward, Public Administration Review


  • Steven Rathgeb Smith is Executive Director of the American Political Science Association.
  • Michael Lipsky is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and author of Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services.

Book Details

  • 306 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press