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What Affects Nonprofit Survival?

W. Bielefeld
Published 1994 · Economics, Medicine

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This article describes mortality patterns for nonprofit organizations in a major U.S. metropolitan area between 1980 and 1988. Twenty percent of the nonprofits in a panel ceased operations during this period. Mortality rates were found to vary widely. In some instances, high mortality was found in parts of the sector that were growing rapidly. Overall, nonprofits that ceased to operate were younger and smaller, used fewer strategies to attract funders, and had less diversified income streams than survivors. These patterns also varied substantially. The results point to the drawbacks of using limited or commonsense information and the necessity of theory-based research.



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