What Constitutes a New Nonprofit? Investigating Nonprofit Organizational Founding Dates





Nonprofit; Founding; Entrepreneurship; Organization life cycle / Organisme sans but lucratif, Fondation, Entreprenariat, Cycle de vie d’une organisation


The question of when a new nonprofit is founded has not been pursued with sufficient precision. Specifically, a fundamental challenge facing any nonprofit researcher planning to detect, isolate, and analyze new nonprofits is that nonprofit founding is a process, not a discrete event. This study uses administrative data that includes three different founding indicators from more than 4,000 arts organizations, supplemented with survey data from 242 organizations, to illustrate some of the problems inherent in treating the founding process as one discrete event. It also elevates the voices of founders to demonstrate their conceptualization of the concept and offer insights into the multidimensionality of founding.



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