Center for Nonprofit Governance

Nonprofit research


The Center for Nonprofit Governance within the Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute is recognized as a premier research center of effective and responsible nonprofit governance. The research conducted among our world-renowned faculty is the core focus of CNG. Our research is published in top journals and informs and influences thought leaders in the nonprofit sector at a variety of high-level events throughout the year.

Approximately 1.41 million nonprofits were registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 20131 and over 7,400 active nonprofits in our area. According to the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2015 State of the Sector report, 53 percent of nonprofits had less than three months of cash on hand and only 48 percent were able to meet the demand for services. This current model does not drive long term sustainability and ultimately impacts hundreds of thousands of people.

The goal of the Center for Nonprofit Governance is to lead the dialogue among nonprofit boards and leadership in our region about the alarming state of the sector and advocate for improved nonprofit governance practices supported by academic research.

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief, Urban Institute, October 2015


CNG presented “Does Promoting Collaboration Strengthen the Local Community? Perspectives from the City of Philadelphia” at the 2017 Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

Collaboration among nonprofit organizations is often proposed as a strategy for curing many of the sector’s resource problems and alleviating duplication in services and increased efficiency. However, the success and salience of these efforts in communities and their long-term effectiveness for improved allocation of resources is debated. This colloquium will explore successes and challenges from several different perspectives for Philadelphia. Philadelphia has a vibrant nonprofit sector, but, mirroring many other communities, is perceived by some as being potentially oversaturated.

Our panel brings together both practitioners and researchers to critically examine whether and how institutions, boards, and policy promote collaboration. Using specific examples from Philadelphia we aim to illustrate structures and incentives that are most effective and identify ongoing challenges to this effort. Does the current environment encourage nonprofit collaboration? If so, when? What economic impediments exist to forming collaborations? How can boards and grant-makers provide incentives to alleviate these impediments?

Our panel listed below will provide a unique multi-dimensional view of the issue given their vantage points as: (i) donors in the community; (ii) board members of prominent Philadelphia organizations in major sectors such as education and the arts; (iii) board governance executive director; (iv) researcher in nonprofit competition. The colloquium will conclude with time for audience reflections from their own communities and a discussion of next steps forward.


  • Patricia Connolly, Executive Director, Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute
  • Jamila Harris-Morrison, Executive Director, Achieveability
  • Teresa Harrison, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Finance
  • Nadya Shmavonian, Director, Nonprofit Repositioning Fund; Director, SeaChange