Representational Roles of Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This research explores what roles nonprofits play in political representation by applying the concept of the representational role to nonprofits. The representational role consists of representational focus and style. Representational focus shows those whom nonprofits aim to serve: members, constituents, or the general public. Representational style denotes the ways nonprofits advocate for their focal groups: the delegation, trusteeship, and education styles. The survey and regression analysis results demonstrate that nonprofits serving their members are most likely to convey their members' voices directly to policy makers: the delegation style. In contrast, nonprofits advocating for their constituents are likely to pursue what they independently identify as their constituents' interests: the trusteeship style. Finally, nonprofits speaking for the general public are most likely to work toward educating the general public: the education style. These results suggest that nonprofits play different roles in political representation, depending on the types of their focal groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1090
Number of pages29
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Advocacy
  • Delegation
  • Education
  • Representation
  • Trusteeship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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