Understanding public awareness of nonprofit organizations: Exploring the awareness-confidence relationship

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public confidence has often been viewed as a critical indicator of legitimacy within the nonprofit sector. Indeed, confidence is believed to be among one of the sector's most important commodities. Surveys, however, have shown that the public does not always have much confidence in the performance of nonprofit organizations. Although this lack of confidence is certainly concerning, few studies have assessed whether the public actually has any awareness of what nonprofit organizations are, and no studies have examined the personal characteristics associated with more (or less) nonprofit awareness. Thus, by using individual-level data from a survey of public attitudes toward nonprofits in San Diego County (n=1002), the purpose of this study was to explore how individual characteristics relate to nonprofit awareness and to examine the extent to which awareness of the sector influences confidence in the performance of nonprofit organizations. The findings from the study indicate that nonprofit awareness varies by several individual-level characteristics-with many of those likely to be the most dependent on nonprofit services being the least aware of the sector. The findings also indicate that awareness of the sector is the most significant predictor of confidence in the performance of nonprofits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

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