Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice


This monograph reviews the results of a multi-phase study of nonprofit social service organizations serving children and youth in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of devolution and related efforts to introduce the new public management to the nonprofit sector. The article begins with a discussion of the purpose of the study, followed by a brief elaboration of how devolution is affecting nonprofit organizations. The article then turns to a discussion of the methodology and a profile of organizations that completed the survey instrument. The survey addressed changes in funding sources, demands for services, changes in client base, and coping strategies if organizations indicated they were under fiscal stress. A subsequent section entitled “Themes from Focus Groups and Surveys” highlights the impact of devolution that were identified through the three series of focus groups, analysis of survey data, interviews with county agency personnel, and participant observation at various community forums over the course of 1996 and 1997. The research concludes with a discussion of the most effective strategies for maintaining organizational viability based on the literature search of best practices and feedback from focus group discussions.