arnova call for papers now extended to April 1, 2013

ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) has extended its submission deadline to April 1, 2013.

“ARNOVA’s 42nd Annual Conference 2013 Call for Participation

Recession, Renewal, Revolution? Nonprofit and Voluntary Action in an Age of Turbulence
Marriott Hartford Downtown ● Hartford, Connecticut ● November 21-23, 2013

Since the late 2000s, the world has become a constant changing and turbulent place. Economic crises have arisen across the globe, creating high levels of need at a time when public and philanthropic dollars are becoming scarcer. Advances in technology and communication have facilitated social movements, challenging and even bringing down governments from Wall Street to Cairo. People come together for causes across boundaries-gathering internationally and virtually to try to address wicked problems such as climate change, individual rights, and poverty. In a world that is facing constant change and weathering these turbulent forces, it is important for scholars to reflect on how have nonprofit organizations, NGOs, social movements, and other forms of voluntary action been affected by the economic and social turbulence of the past five years?

Considering this question, one focus could be on understanding the impact of the economic recession on nonprofit organizations in the United States and other countries. The need for many services provided by nonprofit organizations has dramatically increased at a time when resources are becoming increasingly hard to secure. What has been the impact of this on the budget of nonprofits? On how they prioritize service needs? On how they communicate with funders and other key stakeholders? In these tough economic times, nonprofits have even been asked to step into areas traditionally handled by government-helping government keep public services afloat as government struggles to balance its budget. Exploring how the economic recession has affected nonprofit organizational operations is one possible focus for addressing the conference theme.

In this age of turbulence, we are facing serious problems that cross societal and geographic boundaries. Technological changes have changed the way in which people come together at the grassroots to spark dialogue and change. Revolutions have been launched in the virtual landscape, bringing people together to protest injustice, call for change, and even challenge sitting governments. How have new forms of communication changed how people engage in voluntary action? How has the composition of social movements changed in the networked world? Exploring how people have responded to the economic and social turbulence facing communities is another possible focus for addressing the conference theme.

In countries around the world, the associational revolution continues to break new ground. In Asia, China’s civil society sector has developed from almost nothing three decades ago into one that includes nearly half million officially registered nonprofits and millions of grassroots organizations today. In Africa, the Arab Spring seems to have tilled the soil for the future growth of civil society organizations in these countries. Despite these developments, there are also increasing concerns about the accountability and sustainability of NGOs as well as doubts about the substantive contributions that these organizations make to their societies. To what extent do civil society organizations have the capacity to provide services in response to meet growing societal needs, while at the same time resist subordination to the state and participate in public policy processes?

Exploring questions like these will be one focus for our Conference next November.We hope to encourage a public conversation about matters of such importance to our fields. One track will be devoted to this Conference theme to create a shared exploration of these ideas, issues, and questions. We encourage submissions that cross the many areas of focus in ARNOVA, from grassroots action, formal nonprofit organizational operations, NGOs, and social movements.

In addition, ARNOVA’s Annual Conference will, as always, be a key opportunity to present and discuss the latest research on the wide range of topics relating to nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, voluntary action and civil society.

The conference committee welcomes proposals addressing a broad variety of topics, in addition to the theme. We invite proposals from all disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) perspectives. We are very interested in international as well as national and local perspectives. Proposals may focus on the entire sector, or on any type of nonprofit or field of activity. We look forward to entertaining a wide variety of proposals, and invite you to submit yours. We particularly welcome younger scholars and members of under-represented groups to make their interests known to the conference organizers so we can include you in our community.

Information on Track and the Submission of Proposals Follows

Proposal Submission Tracks for the 42nd Annual ARNOVA Conference

Below are examples of the types of questions that could be considered for each track, but please do not read these suggestions as exclusionary. They are intended only to be illustrative.

The Conference Track-Recession, Renewal, Revolution? – We invite proposals on a wide variety of issues related to this theme. See the previous page.
Boards, Governance & Accountability – How are various ‘governance models’ changing? What are the strengths and weaknesses of new models? How do nonprofits remain accountable – and to whom – amidst tremendous shifts in funding, expectations and need?
Community & Grassroots Organization / Secular & Faith-based – What are we learning about social movements now? How are new technologies changing the way “organizing” and voluntary action take place? Is the role of faith communities changing in advocating for and meeting human needs?
Effectiveness, Evaluation & Programs – How do we know when nonprofit work is effective? How are evaluation practices and metrics shifting to capture large-scale community change? What kinds of programs are thriving or failing in the “new normal” of this economy?
Collaboration & Networks-How and why do nonprofits collaborate? With whom? What are some formal and informal types of collaboration in the nonprofit and voluntary sector? What are some tools, methods, and theories to help us understand collaborative activity in the sector?
Philanthropy, Fundraising & Giving – How is giving changing in hard times? How are donors and fundraisers shifting their behaviors now?
Innovation & Entrepreneurship – Are nonprofits breaking new ground in their approaches to services? Are new (hybrid) organizational forms replacing traditional ones? Do we know if innovation is more effective?
Management, Leadership & Strategy – Have hard times changed the approaches to and work of management in voluntary organizations? Are styles of leadership changing? If so, how so, and why? As resources get scarcer are nonprofits finding new ways of working?
Public Policy & Law – Presentations can explore the changing roles of and relationships between governments, NGOs and the voluntary sector at all levels – local and state as well as national and international – and a broad spectrum of legal or policy issues for nonprofits.
Teaching & Education – What is being done to prepare the next generation of nonprofit leaders? Should programs and pedagogy be changing in these times? If so, in what ways?
Voluntarism & Volunteering – How is voluntarism changing in the current environment? What new or additional knowledge, skills, and abilities will be needed by volunteers?

Types of Presentations & Submissions:

Proposals can be for individual Papers, Panels (pre-arranged) of 3-4 papers, or Colloquia. Submissions by practitioners and doctoral students engaged in research are also welcome. Panels and Colloquia should (as a rule) involve people from multiple institutions.

The on-line proposal submission system will now close at midnight, April 1, 2013. To submit a proposal, you will be able to go to, and click on the tab that says “Submit a Proposal.” More information about types of sessions and presentations, and about submitting proposals can also be found there. Questions can be directed to the ARNOVA office at (317) 684-2120, or to”

Written by katherinechen

March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

One Response

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  1. Re: “Wicked Problems”, we thought that you might like to know about this:

    “Wicked Problems – Social Messes: Decision support Modelling with Morphological Analysis”. Springer, 2011.

    You can see a description at Springer here:


    Tom Ritchey



    March 27, 2013 at 11:46 pm

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