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Adm. Sci. 2015, 5(3), 165-176; doi:10.3390/admsci5030165

Leasehold: An Institutional Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Governance in a Civil Society Context

Milano School of International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy, The New School, 72 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011, USA
Academic Editor: Antonin Wagner
Received: 20 June 2015 / Accepted: 18 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonprofit Governance: Concepts, Visions, and Perspectives)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [377 KB, uploaded 23 September 2015]


Nonprofit organizations play a role in the creation of a society that is civil, and it is an important one that neither the state nor for-profit organizations undertake. This raises the question of governance and accountability, which is often addressed by looking to agency-based models from the private sector. The acknowledged problem is that the agency’s notion of owners does not translate well to nonprofits. Adapting the concept of leasehold (wherein the managers and organization operate with broad autonomy, using resources supplied by supporters in exchange for the promise that specific societal value will be created, and are accountable for doing so) allows for a more flexible and responsive arrangement. It also suggests a mechanism whereby many independent nonprofits taking multiple approaches help civil society evolve. View Full-Text
Keywords: nonprofit; governance; agency theory; leasehold model; civil society nonprofit; governance; agency theory; leasehold model; civil society
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Greller, M.M. Leasehold: An Institutional Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Governance in a Civil Society Context. Adm. Sci. 2015, 5, 165-176.

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