Advances in Research on Nonprofit Advocacy and Civic Engagement
Nonprofits are collective endeavors that supply a bewildering range of products and services, including some of value to their immediate members only. Many also advocate policy positions on issues of direct interest to themselves, their clients and beneficiaries, and/or the broader community. There is substantial variation in their advocacy strategies, the scope of policy goals they embrace, and the types of individuals they engage in such activities. Consequently, there are also differences in whether and how nonprofit advocacy activities reduce inequalities, enhance civic participation, and promote deliberative democracy. This symposium interprets and theorizes about emerging nonprofit challenges by showcasing research of nonprofit advocacy and civic engagement scholars. Collectively, the papers demonstrate the vibrancy of the field of nonprofit civic engagement and advocacy and identify important areas for future research to capture the complexity of nonprofits as actors guided by both instrumental and normative goals, serving organizational and social missions, and reducing some types of inequalities but creating new ones.