Current Research Activities
My current research aims to explore nonprofit resources environment in the setting of COVID-19. To be more specific, my current research explores the following research questions:1) are nonprofits in vulnerable communities more susceptible to high service demand and low revenue during a disruptive event; 2) What factors explain the managerial networking of nonprofits’ leaders under the context of crisis? The data for this study comes from multiple sources including survey, National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) 2017 core PC files, and U. S. 2019 Census Data. The survey is collected from public charities whose main offices are in California. My research importantly contributes to nonprofit research by deepening our understandings on the impact of community-level factors on nonprofits’ needs and revenue in disaster contexts. In addition, understanding the pattern of managerial networking of nonprofit organizations in COVID 19 contributes to the knowledge of how to help nonprofit organizations to effectively respond to disasters and crises. I collaborate with Dr. Zheng Yang, Assistant Professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills on this research project.
Research Connections to Current Events
The impact of COVID19 on communities are unequal. Communities with more poverty population,
poor housing conditions, and inadequate transportations are less resilient after being
affected by natural disasters (Gaynor and Meghan, 2020). The racial and ethnic minority
groups have higher risks to be infected by coronavirus (Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, 2021). Nonprofits serving these vulnerable communities play an important
role in reducing disparities in public health and promoting social equity and environmental
justice. Previous literatures show that the density of nonprofits is lower in high
poverty communities (Allard, 2009). Nonprofits are more likely to be located in resources-rich
communities compared to the economically distressed ones (Bielefeld et al., 1997).
Human service nonprofits located in a minority and low-mobility community have higher
risk to experience poor financial health (Lam and McDougle, 2015). Small human service
nonprofits are less likely to maintain their operation in African American neighborhoods
(Lee, 2017). Community foundations that focus on providing resources to local nonprofits
tend to exist in urban and white dominant communities (Wu, 2019). Less known is whether
the resources and needs disparities of communities exacerbate the difficulties of
nonprofits serving vulnerable communities in the context of disasters.
Additionally, the managerial networking behavior of nonprofit organizations has been discussed to be important for nonprofits’ success and performance, yet how nonprofits leaders’ network with their external stakeholders in relation to their fiscal health conditions, and what are the levels and patterns of managerial networking during crises are rarely explored in the nonprofit management literature (Johansen & LeRoux, 2013; Li, Tang & Lo, 2017; MacIndoe and Sullivan, 2014;). Importantly, understanding the pattern of managerial networking of nonprofit organizations in COVID 19 contributes to the knowledge of how to help nonprofit organizations to effectively respond to disasters and crises.
Personal Connections to Research
I developed my research interest in nonprofit resilience and sustainability under disaster settings from a class discussion years ago. I was studying at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City when Hurricane Sandy occurred. In our direct service class, I heard many stories on how nonprofits were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. However, outside of the class, many people were unfamiliar with disaster response, and often argued that nonprofits benefit from a disaster event due to a surge in donations. Surprisingly, I found that most research on nonprofits in disaster contexts are qualitative studies with relatively small sample sizes, and we have limited quantitative evidence on how natural disasters impact the nonprofit sector. Therefore, I begin to explore the impact of natural disaster on nonprofits and factors that help nonprofits being resilient and successful in disaster context. COVID19 has impacted nonprofits financially and organizationally, the effects of which has important implications for crisis response practices in nonprofit management. Thus, I will continue my research in this stream.
nonprofit management,financial performance, disaster resilience, community vulnerability, mixed method