Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

T. Wayne Parent


This dissertation addresses the problem of determining the effects of government funding on non-profit organizational behavior. The definition of a non-profit organization is a formal organization, privately incorporated but serving a public purpose, self-governing, voluntary to some degree and non-profit distributing (Salamon, 1993). The literature review demonstrates the increasing role of non-profit organizations as a means of social service delivery in the United States. As a result of policy changes and funding opportunities, non-profit organizations are increasingly providing services that were in the purview of government. The hypothesis for this study is that government funding positively affects the organizational behavior of non-profit organizations in terms of advocacy behavior, alliance behavior and program diversification. The principal research question for this study is: "What is the direct effect of government funding on non-profit organizational behavior in terms of (a) advocacy behavior; (b) alliance behavior; (c) diversity of programs?" This study relies on a data set of 170 cases of non-profit organizations in Louisiana generated by a random mail survey in 1997 and five extensive case studies completed in 1999. The results of the study indicate that the organizational behavior of non-profits are affected by government funding. The results of the logit and regression models of the different funding/organizational scenarios are not as clear and convincing as one would like to report. However, the results generally confirm the premise of the study. The activities of non-profit organizations are affected by governmental agencies which act as funders and regulators as well as partners in service provision. The increased reliance on government funds may be transforming some non-profit organizations into quasi-governmental entities that do not have the same ethos as traditional community based and community funded non-profit organizations. The blurring of the lines between the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors caused by competition for resources may lead to the diminishment of the non-profit sector. The future viability of non-profits may be threatened by the new emerging market for government contracted out services and the increased competition across the sectors to be the vendors for those services.