Advocacy and nonprofit charities: Two cases on home care

TitleAdvocacy and nonprofit charities: Two cases on home care
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWhite Lobsinger T
AdvisorArmstrong H
Academic DepartmentPublic Policy and Administration
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy Ph.D.
Number of Pages356
UniversityCarleton University (Canada)
CityOttawa, ON

This dissertation examines the policy activities of nonprofit charities in Ottawa, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta in home care. The research begins with a static set of roles which include providing services in partnership with government, redistributing societal resources, doing environmental scanning, promoting values in society and fostering stability and democracy to demonstrate the importance of the performance of advocacy to all roles. Nevertheless, the research also demonstrates how governments cost cutting and efficiency policies in home care both constrain the advocacy work of charities and misalign them with respect to their identity, roles and activities, and in terms of the public benefits which they may provide. Charities which choose to continue working in home cares current policy environment must improvise and innovate extensively, and in ways which risk contradicting their missions and purpose as public serving nonprofit organizations. This conceptualization of the advocacy work of charities, a subset of organizations within the nonprofit sector, and its dynamic processes enhances the ideas which emerge from nonprofit literature about the sector, as a whole, and more specifically about public serving nonprofit organizations. Empirically, the research demonstrates how home care policies which focus on narrow efficiency objectives risk producing consequences which have the potential to impact, negatively, charities, seniors and the public. Potential losses include less transparent public debate on important social--health issues and the risk that the benefits of working with charities become invisible when compared to for-profit firms.

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