Technology in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action


Information and communication technologies (ICT) are major forces shaping our current age. ICT affects many areas of human existence and influences the both human wellbeing and human evil. The nonprofit sector is already heavily involved in technology both as a way to pursue its mission and as an influential factor in the evolution of the sector. This article examines how technology affects the sector and how the sector uses technology in its work.
The article begins with a discussion of how the emerging information society will change the nonprofit sector. The sector that we know is grounded on our experience in the agrarian and industrial periods in the United States and Europe. We then explore how technology evolved in the sector. This is followed by an examination of technology and nonprofit organizational behavior. Technology changes the organizations that make use of its capacities. Next is a discussion of the types of technology that nonprofit organizations use. The final three sections deal with technology and social change, technology in nonprofit settings, and issues and trends. This article provides the reader with a current appreciation of the scholarly and professional literature on ICT in the nonprofit sector.

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John G. McNutt, PhD, is Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. Dr. McNutt is a specialist in the application of high technology to political and social engagement. His work focuses on the role of technology in lobbying, e-government and e-democracy, political campaigning and deliberation, organizing, and other forms of political participation. Chao Guo, PhD, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Guo is also founding co-director of the China Institute for Philanthropy and Social Innovation at Renmin University of China. His interests are in collaboration within and across sectors, new media and nonprofit advocacy, and social entrepreneurship. Lauri Goldkind, PhD, LMSW, is Associate Professor at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service. She chairs the Leadership and Macro practice concentration and also teaches in the Nonprofit Administration program. Dr. Goldkind’s current research has two strands: technology implementation and information and communication technology (ICT) tools in human services and nonprofits, and social justice and civic engagement in organizational life. Seongho An, MSW, is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include digital technology and nonprofit advocacy, digital inclusion of vulnerable people, and human service organization management.
"The list of references, which corresponds to over a third of the article, provides quite a valuable collection of references given that it covers the entire digital era (especially from the 1990s up to a few references from 2018) [...] In sum, the authors identify numerous questions around the Internet and the nonprofit sector, succeeding in accomplishing their goal of providing an appreciation of the scholarly and professional literature on the topic." -Raquel Rego in Voluntas (2020) 31: 1388-1389
Editor’s Introduction
David Horton Smith

Author Biography

Technology in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
John McNutt, Chao Guo, Lauri Goldkind, Seongho An
 A Overview: Technology in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
 B Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action in an Information Society
 C The Evolution of Information and Communication Technology in the Nonprofit Sector
 D Technology and Nonprofit Organizational Behavior
 E The Technology Arsenal of Nonprofit Organizations
 F Technology and Social Change
 G Technology Applied to Various Practice Areas
 H Issues
 I Conclusion
 J Bibliography
Anyone interested in the field of Voluntaristics worldwide, academics and researchers in anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, and psychology, and those interested in Area studies, the social professions, and history.
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