Exploring nonprofit dilemmas through a new lens: Introduction to the symposium on experimental and behavioral approaches in nonprofit and voluntary sector research

Main Article Content

Mirae Kim
Kelly LeRoux
Dyana Mason


symposium introduction, donor, volunteer, nonprofit


Experimental studies have just begun to diffuse slowly in nonprofit research, reflecting the general recognition that experimental studies can help nonprofit researchers overcome some limitations of the methods that have traditionally been used. This special issue includes four papers that consider the diversity of experimental research in nonprofit studies. First, a systematic literature review of experimental studies in fundraising provides a nice overview of how experimental studies have been adopted for nonprofit research. The other three articles in this symposium cover important topics that have garnered growing attention in the field of nonprofit management --promoting diversity, donor resistance to the overhead myth, and the role of nudging in crowdfunding donations. Taken together, the four articles in this symposium strengthen our understanding of how experimental approaches can address some of the most pressing questions for the nonprofit and voluntary sector. The studies covered here suggest nearly limitless potential applications of properly designed experimental studies to address unique nonprofit challenges. The symposium issue articles also help nonprofit researchers to shift the research inquiry to individuals to address nonprofit dilemmas through the behavioral lens.