SAGE Journals

Do U.S. Faith-Based Social Service Organizations Resist Collaboration? Examining the Role of Religiosity and Operational Capacity in Interorganizational Partnerships

Posted on 2020-08-27 - 12:09

Although nonprofit collaboration is commonplace, recent research suggests that faith-based organizations (FBOs) are less likely to collaborate than other nonprofits. This study builds on prior FBO, collaboration, and nonprofit capacity research to examine the influence of religiosity and operational capacity on FBOs’ within- and cross-sector partnerships. Findings from a survey with 197 FBOs across the United States reveal a complex picture of how religiosity and operational capacity influence FBO collaboration. More specifically, staff religiosity was positively related to cross-sector partnerships. Service religiosity (i.e., religious elements in staff–client interactions) was negatively associated with collaboration with government agencies. Results also indicated that FBOs with higher operational capacity had more partners in the nonprofit, business, and public sectors. These findings suggest that FBOs generally lack the operational capacity for collaboration and that service religiosity creates additional barriers to it. This article concludes with implications for research in FBOs, interorganizational collaboration, and nonprofit capacity.


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