Publication News & Opportunities


Call for papers

Nonprofits and Public Policy:A special issue of the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy

Submission deadline: May 1, 2020

Nonprofit organizations occupy a space between government and business, and in exchange for pursuing a noble mission, are generally granted exemptions from paying taxes. This tax exemption has proven controversial when extremely wealthy nonprofits occupy huge swaths of prime real estate or possess sizable endowments that are tax exempt while governments have trouble funding basic needs. Nonprofit organizations have developed a number of responses to address the controversy and to defuse outrage. For example, some nonprofits have responded with PILOTs, which are voluntary payments in lieu of taxes. A further line of controversy originates from the suspicion that some nonprofits essentially operate like for-profits. While some taxing authorities force nonprofits to separate and pay taxes on their unrelated business activities, literature has suggested that nonprofits are good at avoiding taxes even on their unrelated business activities.

Potential submissions may address questions that include, but are not restricted to:

  • Are the benefits received by society sufficient to justify the tax exemption?
  • How do the requirements and incentives for organizing as a nonprofit vary by jurisdiction, and how does that variation affect the frequency and structure of nonprofits?
  • Do tax benefits provide incentive to organize as a nonprofit as opposed to a for-profit entity? Do they provide nonprofits with a competitive advantage vis-à-vis for-profits, in the marketplace?
  • What conditions lead to PILOTs? Are PILOTs real estate taxes in disguise?
  • Do nonprofits actively engage in tax avoidance? If so how?
  • Alternative source of funding such as social impact bonds.
  • Do non-profits appoint higher quality audit firms and how does this affect their tax exemption status and tax avoidance?
  • Audit quality implications of the nonprofit tax exemption and its impact on financial reporting quality.

We invite researchers from all fields both inside and outside of academia to submit their work.

Guest Editor

Steven Balsam, Ph.D., CPA

Professor of Accounting

Fox School of Business

Temple University



ERNOP Special Issue of Voluntas

Philanthropy in the spotlight?
Achievements, Limitations, Opportunities and Risks

Full paper submissions due:December 15th 2019

Guest editors:Marta Rey-García (School of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña (UDC), Spain), Georg von Schnurbein (Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS), University of Basel, Switzerland), Michaela Neumayr (Institute for Nonprofit Management, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria)

The European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) is pleased to announce that a special issue of Voluntas will be dedicated to the theme of the 9th international ERNOP conference 2019. Scholars are invited to submit their full papers for the special issue, in which we will focus on achievements but also limitations of philanthropy. Furthermore, the opportunities and risks for philanthropy to address new societal issues or to tackle them in innovative ways will be explored.

In recent years, the public profile of philanthropy has increased. Across Europe (and beyond) philanthropic actors take the lead in addressing societal issues and the contribution of philanthropy is being (re)discovered by public actors. Nevertheless, at the same time, expectations about the resources and achievements of philanthropy may pale in the face of public welfare. The advancement of knowledge about the theory and practice of philanthropy has evidenced its achievements as much as it has unveiled its limitations. While philanthropy is not a new phenomenon, its heightened visibility has raised questions about the background and motives of philanthropic organizations and donors, the place of philanthropy within (European) welfare states, the relationship of philanthropy to other actors that aim to solve societal issues and/or put issues on the societal agenda, and the impact of philanthropy in society. New methods or models such as impact investing or political agenda setting push the boundaries of philanthropy further and fuel discussions of legitimacy. Digital transformation is influencing all actors involved in philanthropy and their relationships, from donors to volunteers. Philanthropy may not only tackle new digital threats, such as those to privacy or democracy, but also take advantage of the opportunities of becoming digital. An increase in visibility seems to call for more transparency and a better understanding of the achievements, limitations, opportunities and risks of philanthropy: we should look the philanthropic gift horse in the mouth.

We invite scholars from various disciplines sharing a motivation to discuss the achievements of philanthropy in the present day, and to generate new questions about how philanthropy might develop in the future. Scholars are especially encouraged to submit papers addressing questions related to the reputation of philanthropic organizations, including issues such as transparency and legitimation, papers addressing questions related to democratic aspects of philanthropy, such as power exerted due to philanthropic activities, papers addressing limitations of philanthropic achievements in regard of solving societal (social) issues, and papers exploring opportunities and risks for the future (new problems and new methods). More theory-oriented, conceptual papers on the opportunities and limitations of philanthropy research are also welcome. In doing so, the special issue aims to also discuss the less bright side of philanthropy.

Authors are requested to submit their manuscripts directly in the Springer system; be sure to indicate that the paper being submitted is part of the Special Issue: 'Philanthropy in the spotlight’ in the submission questionnaire.

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