Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine, Summer 2020 Digital Issue

Spring 2020 - Digital Issue

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In Recession: Design for the Commons!

Spring 2020: Volume 27, Issue 1


  • Welcome

  • Recession Dynamics: Getting in Right Relationship 

  • Nonprofits in Recession: Winners and Losers
    As we stand on the precipice of a new recession, the Nonprofit Quarterly’s editor in chief Ruth McCambridge and the Do Good Institute’s Nathan Dietz review the effects on the sector of the last recession in order to help nonprofits prepare for what lies ahead. by Ruth McCambridge and Nathan Dietz

  • Recession Outcomes and the Urgent Need for a Less Self-Centered Nonprofit Sector
    “The disproportionately negative financial effects that the recession and recovery have had on communities of people of color...speak to the need for more comprehensive advocacy work where financial policies are concerned,” asserts this article. ”The disproportion implies that we have spent so much time in short-term responsive behavior that we have lost the muscle for affirmative advocacy on the issues most fundamental to a healthy democracy.” by the editors

  • Why Recovery from the Great Recession Favored the Wealthy: The Role of Public Policy
    “All demographic groups experienced a loss of wealth during the 2007–2009 recession,” writes the Roosevelt Institute’s James Carr, “but lower- and moderate-income populations and people of color suffered the greatest economic damage.” This article explains why this is so, the direct role public policy played, and the future role the sector can take in helping to reverse the trend of growing economic inequality. by James H. Carr

  • “Four Futures” of the Great Recession Revisited: Nonprofits’ Hopes, Fears, and What Really Happened
    This article looks back at Paul Light’s 2008 predictions—or “four futures”—about the outcomes of the then-upcoming recession, and describes how the NYU Professor of Public Service’s imagined scenarios actually played out. There was some alignment and there were some surprises—but most interesting turns out to be Light’s vision of a sector that, in response to the recession, reinvents itself to be more of a platform for social justice. by Ruth McCambridge and Cassandra Heliczer


  • Building a Democratic Economy: Sketch of a Pluralist Commonwealth
    “In addition to the central issue of democracy, four other critical challenges require systemic answers that both begin at the level of community and help generate value premises and potential structural directions at higher levels of integration. All are highly charged but also potentially capable of opening radically new possibilities,” writes the Democracy Collaborative’s Gar Alperovitz, in this meditation on economic democracy. by Gar Alperovitz

  • Who Are Stakeholders and Why Do They Matter?
    “Thinking about stakeholders is essential for an organization to be effective, accountable, and ethical,” writes Arizona State University’s Elizabeth Castillo. This article lays out “who stakeholders are and why all organizations should know theirs,” and offers tips on identifying and working with your stake- holders to “promote equity and improve decision making.” by Elizabeth A. Castillo

  • Reconsidering Charitable Tax Exemption: A Modest Proposal for the “Nonprofit 1000”
    “In looking at any kind of policy—public policy (policy made by public officials), organizational policy, or even personal policy—the relationship between the policy and its target may change,” begins this persuasive disquisition on why it may well be past time to reexamine the Revenue Acts of 1913 and 1917. by John Tropman and James A. Blackburn