Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-18-2013

Research Center

Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice


The scholarship on public value has emanated largely from the perspective of government and public management. As valuable as this conceptualization may be, we suggest that public value in the United States can be created by a combination of government, business and nonprofit actors. We argue that nonprofit organizations have been overlooked in the public value literature – an unfortunate reality that does not accurately reflect the nonprofit sector’s significant contributions. In many respects, creating public value is a primary raison d'etre for the American nonprofit sector. To elaborate and support this argument, we present an in-depth analysis of five case examples of public private partnerships (PPPs) involving nonprofit organizations in Cleveland, Ohio. The five PPP cases explored offer insights to public policy-makers, who might apply new, yet familiar strategies to make use of the nonprofit sector’s ability to create public value