Taxonomy of religious and secular nonprofit organizations: Knowledge development and policy recommendations for neighborhood revitalization

2003 2003

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation is a taxonomy of the role religious and secular nonprofit organizations (NPOs) play in the revitalization of high-poverty neighborhoods. The research contributes to existing knowledge of inner-city revitalization, collaborative planning, organizational theory, and social capital. This study considers the historical policy changes and the resulting growth of the current devolutionary environment that gave rise to Charitable Choice legislation. The organizations emphasized in this study include nonsectarian community-based organizations (CBOs) and both congregations and faith-based organizations (FBOs). The Lower North Philadelphia study area is representative of high-poverty neighborhoods found in other cities and has a significant concentration of congregations, community development corporations, FBOs and other community groups. This work is based on empirical data that documents policy-makers' reliance on local community institutions for social service provision. Analysis includes qualitative and quantitative methods combined with spatial evaluation using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Findings indicate that, on average, the religious side of the nonprofit sector exhibits a strong presence in communities, contributing substantial amounts of social and physical service delivery. These congregations and FBOs serve equal numbers of people, with significantly smaller budgets. The findings also demonstrate higher densities in the community compared to the major thoroughfare where secular CBOs locate. Policy recommendations stemming from this research emphasize enhancing access to public resources through technical assistance and capacity building. Future study includes additional analysis of individual findings, and the replication of this research in other communities that share similar characteristics. This dissertation contributes to scholarship by further documenting such efforts and by comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of NPOs by type, policies, and practices.

Indexing (details)

Urban planning;
Area planning & development;
0999: Urban planning
0999: Area planning & development
0318: Religion
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Knowledge development; Neighborhood revitalization; Nonprofit; Policy recommendations; Religious organizations
Taxonomy of religious and secular nonprofit organizations: Knowledge development and policy recommendations for neighborhood revitalization
Botchwey, Nisha Danielle-Stephanie
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 64/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Birch, Eugenie L.
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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