Cover: On Being Nonprofit: A Conceptual and Policy Primer, from Harvard University PressCover: On Being Nonprofit in PAPERBACK

On Being Nonprofit

A Conceptual and Policy Primer

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Product Details


$33.00 • £26.95 • €29.50

ISBN 9780674018358

Publication Date: 09/06/2005


224 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

16 line illustrations, 4 tables


On Being Nonprofit is an excellent volume for the beginner, as well as a provocative volume for the experienced scholar. I hope this well-written book will stimulate more theorizing about the nature, functions, and contributions of such third sectors in various societies.—Virginia A. Hodgkinson, Contemporary Sociology

The book’s strong features are its inclusive conceptual framework, its consideration of current debates and controversies, and its exploration of a series of basic tensions that seem inherent in the nonprofit sector due to its diversity. These are challenges that academics, practitioners, policy makers, and other nonprofit stakeholders must understand.—Wolfgang Bielefeld, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

Frumkin’s book ties together, in one place, many strands of thought about the nonprofit sector, and will serve as an important resource for scholars. Exceptionally well-written and easy to understand… Frumkin gives us the kind of intellectual tour of the sector that those of us who call ourselves ‘nonprofit scholars’ have needed for a long time.—Arthur C. Brooks, Public Administration Review

This intelligent analysis sheds light on the meaning and operation of the nonprofit sector. Authorities, including those in government, have often portrayed nonprofits as merely forms of interest groups or, alternatively, service organizations that educate, feed, or otherwise assist some subset of society. This book makes clear that nonprofits include both of these types of organizations and others… Highly recommended.—W.P. Browne, Choice

Peter Frumkin’s book is an excellent introduction to the issues that the nonprofit sector faces today. It not only reviews the social science work done on the sector, but explores the policy questions that the sector faces in the 21st century.—Joseph Galaskiewicz, University of Arizona

Frumkin’s little volume captures accurately and provocatively the contested and continuously-changing nonprofit domain. Unblindered by nonprofitdom’s self-serving myths, it candidly identifies both the strengths and weaknesses of America’s fastest-growing organizational sector.—Peter Dobkin Hall, Harvard University

Peter Frumkin has just redefined the field of nonprofit and voluntary organizations. His lucid book gives all of us new insights on just what it means to be nonprofit-like, and advances the debate on a host of critical issues facing the nonprofit sector at this critical moment in history. Absolutely essential reading for anyone in and around the sector.—Paul Light, Brookings Institution

Both well-researched and clearly written, this sympathetic but unsentimental analysis of the nonprofit and voluntary sector is a first-rate addition to the literature. Because it is sophisticated in its conceptualizations, unfreighted by jargon and cant, and manageable in length, this insightful book should be indispensable to both graduate and advanced undergraduate students as well as to teachers and scholars looking for a compact overview of the field.—Laurence E. Lynn, Jr., University of Chicago

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 Best Book Award, Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management
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