Schneider, Ulrike and Meyer, Michael and Pospisil, Miroslav and Skarabelova, Simona and Travnickova, Dana
Nonprofits' functions in old and new democracies: an integrative framework and empirical evidence for Austria and the Czech Republic.
Working Papers / Institut für Sozialpolitik, 02/2007.
Institut für Sozialpolitik, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna.
By analysing the multifarious concepts of NPOs' functions in literature and the definitions of the particular functions, the paper frames an overarching theoretical concept to structure the functions of NPOs. The framework delivered displays a triangle with the three main functions of NPOs, service delivery, public advocacy, and community building in its corners, which is empirically grounded in findings from a qualitative study in Austria and the Czech Republic. Although data show that NPOs in both countries fulfil identical functions, the relative importance of them varies: Austrian NPOs tend to specialize on one or two functions - mainly service and advocacy, while NPOs in the Czech Republic are multi-function oriented with a strong focus on community building. Against the background of the democratic development in both countries, the paper discusses possible explanations for these differences and raises ideas for the measurement of NPOs' functions on the organisational level. (author´s abstract)