Our goal is to understand how civil society organizations differ across cities
Our seven metropolitan regions provide a unique landscape for our research. The cities are consequential “lifestyle” cities, noted for their quality of life, attention to public health issues, citizen involvement, and innovation. Although none are world financial capitals, they are all in the forefront of global rankings. They are places where people migrate to and then have to deal with a constant influx of people. San Francisco, Taipei and Shenzhen are tech centers; Seattle and San Francisco are liberal west coast cities, Vienna, Singapore, and Sydney are in nations with strong social safety nets. Seattle, Singapore, Sydney and Vienna are leaders in environmental sustainability. From its humble beginning as a fishing village, Shenzhen is now a mega-city, founded under China’s open door policy in 1978 as the first special economic zone. The stories of each are unique, but the framework provided by our study weaves together a rich tapestry of the complex relationships between nonprofit organizations and their urban environments.
The San Francisco Bay Area Region
The Bay Area has long been a fertile ground for civil society, from the environmental movement in the 19th century to the free speech movement to immigrant rights and marriage equality. Our study provides an inside look at the sector: organizations trying to maintain the Bay’s progressive heritage, others aiming to buoy individuals struggling with the fallout from technological growth, and diverse organizations serving the varied civic values of this multicultural region.
The Puget Sound Area
Our study seeks to better understand the diverse roles that public charities play in the region and the challenges they face in achieving their missions. The research team is particularly interested in developing novel insights into the connections that nonprofits make – to one another, to organizations in other sectors, and to citizens – and how those relationships matter for pursuing social change, providing effective services, and fostering a sense of community in the region.
China’s first Special Economic Zone
Shenzhen is a city marked by experimentation, growth, and migration. It is a young city. Our team explores how this developing nonprofit community compares to its more established counterparts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. Through comparing these various cities, the research team will learn how different nonprofit sectors respond to problems. We think the transfer of these ideas will prove beneficial to all nonprofits and cities in our study.
The City of Sydney
The Sydney CLCL team will use this research to explore the nonprofit sector with a particular interest in cross-sector collaboration, social enterprise and impact investing, and the role of government in shaping performance. According to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC), there were 8,680 registered not-for-profits in 2015.
Taipei City and New Taipei City (formerly Taipei County)
We take an in-depth look across diverse civic organizations in Taipei. We hope to assess how Taiwan’s fairly recent democratic transition may have contributed to the dual trajectories of the sector’s development–smaller-scale organizations working on preserving traditional features of Taipei and larger ones promoting democratic governance and embracing global nonprofit trends.
We are curious to explore how this developing nonprofit community compares to its more established counter parts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. Through comparing these various cities, the research team will learn how different nonprofit sectors respond to problems. We think the transfer of these ideas will prove beneficial to all nonprofits and cities in our study.
Like the city-state itself, the nonprofit sector in Singapore is characterized by multiculturalism, transnationalism, and a strong interest in the adoption of technology. We seek to understand how the nonprofit organizations in Singapore navigate through the cultural, geopolitical, and technological forces they face, and how they shape the lives of its residents and the city-state itself. In doing so, we believe the study of the social sector in Singapore can provide a valuable addition to our global comparative research on nonprofits.