Assessing Nonprofit Rule Interpretation and Compliance

Saba Siddiki, Suzann Lupton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nonprofit organizations operate within the confines of formalized agreements structured by parent organizations, funders, and partners. Compliance with the rules comprising these agreements leads to organizational legitimacy and the resulting access to resources. At times, compliance can be challenging because internal and external stakeholders exert pressures on nonprofits that can sometimes dissuade rule adherence. These pressures can be amplified when a nonprofit is an affiliate. Affiliate nonprofits must meet accountability demands of their local constituencies while aligning missions, organizational structures, governance, and programmatic activities with parent organizations that might be geographically distant. Affiliate status thus adds a layer of complication to an already complex environment. We conduct an institutional analysis as a basis for assessing how nonprofit affiliates interpret global rules for maintaining affiliate status and factors most important to them in maintaining continued compliance with such rules. Our research is conducted in the context of United Way (UW) affiliate organizations in Indiana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156S-174S
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • institutional fit
  • institutional grammar tool
  • isomorphism
  • resource dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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