Public Perceptions of and Trust in Associations and Volunteers

  • René Bekkers
  • Irina Mersianova
  • David H. Smith
  • Samir Abu-Rumman
  • Michael Layton
  • Krishna Roka


This chapter summarizes and categorizes findings from research on perceptions of volunteers and of membership associations (MAs) among actors in three types of positions vis-à-vis nonprofit organizations (NPOs): members of the general public, actors in government, and actors in the corporate world of business. A fairly stable core of these perceptions depends on individual characteristics of these stakeholders. Three failures of NPOs threaten perceptions of MAs: (1) amateurism, (2) over-exclusion, and (3) asymmetry of information – lack of transparency, the potential for fraud, and violations of the non-distribution constraint in NPOs. MAs and other NPOs can influence perceptions by changing their behavior in interactions with stakeholders and in their communication strategies. Finally, the chapter summarizes findings from research on perceptions of MAs in four specific world regions.


Civil Society Organizational Identity Strategic Alliance Collaborative Process Voluntary Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • René Bekkers
    • 1
  • Irina Mersianova
    • 2
  • David H. Smith
    • 3
  • Samir Abu-Rumman
    • 4
  • Michael Layton
    • 5
  • Krishna Roka
    • 6
  1. 1.Netherlands
  2. 2.Russia
  3. 3.USA
  4. 4.Jordan
  5. 5.USA
  6. 6.Nepal

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