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Fundraising for Government: Unpacking the Structure and Relationship of Government-Supporting Nonprofit Partnerships

Kandyce Fernandez
PAQ, Vol. 45 No. 1, 1-28 (2021)

Government-supporting nonprofits (GSNs) are 501(c)(3) organizations established in connection with a government agency to fundraise and support their mission. To date, little is known about the structural and substantive relationships that occur in this exclusive partnership. Applying the GSN model to public education in Florida, this study looks at data collected from 18 local education foundations (LEFs) and their school district partners. Interviews suggest that different structural models influence the relationships between the two organizations along the following dimensions: attention, successive engagement, resource infusion, and organizational identity. Even though LEFs exist to support their school district, they also aim to establish a separate identity to be able to fundraise and carry out a more community-based role. Through this research, a framework is proposed for studying the structural and partnership dimensions of government-supporting nonprofits. We conclude with a discussion on future research and relevant considerations for government agencies with a supporting nonprofit.

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