Determinants of resource development strategies in nonprofit organizations: An analysis of children, youth and family services

Denice Myra Rothman, Florida International University


This study is an exploratory analysis of an operational measure for resource development strategies, and an exploratory analysis of internal organizational contingencies influencing choices of these strategies in charitable nonprofit organizations. The study provides conceptual guidance for advancing understanding about resource development in the nonprofit sector. The statistical findings are, however, inconclusive without further rigorous examination. A three category typology based on organization technology is initially presented to define the strategies. Three dimensions of internal organizational contingencies explored represent organization identity, professional staff, and boards of directors. Based on relevant literature and key informant interviews, an original survey was administered by mail to a national sample of nonprofit organizations. The survey collected data on indicators of the proposed strategy types and selected contingencies. Factor analysis extracted two of the initial categories in the typology. The Building Resource Development Infrastructure Strategy encompasses information technology, personnel, legal structures, and policies facilitating fund development. The Building Resource Development Infrastructure Strategy encompasses the mission, service niche, and type of service delivery forming the basis for seeking financial support. Linear regressions with each strategy type as the dependent variable identified distinct and common contingencies which may partly explain choices of strategies. Discriminant analysis suggests the potential predictive accuracy of the contingencies. Follow-up case studies with survey respondents provide additional criteria for operationalizing future measures of resource development strategies, and support and expand the analysis on contingencies. The typology offers a beginning framework for defining alternative approaches to resource development, and for exploring organization capacity specific to each approach. Contingencies that may be integral components of organization capacity are funding, leadership frame, background and experience, staff and volunteer effort, board member support, and relationships in the external environment. Based on these findings, management questions are offered for nonprofit organization stakeholders to consider in planning for resource development. Lessons learned in designing and conducting this study are also provided to enhance future related research.

Subject Area

Public administration

Recommended Citation

Rothman, Denice Myra, "Determinants of resource development strategies in nonprofit organizations: An analysis of children, youth and family services" (1997). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9813427.