Stirring the Melting Pot: A Case Study of Nonprofit Responsiveness in a Midwestern Satellite City
Ali, Asma M
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Since the 1990s, midwestern United States satellite cities—small cities located on the fringes of larger metropolitan communities—have experienced dramatic shifts in the racial demographics of their African American and Latino populations (Johnson 2015). These population changes impact the strategic choices of nonprofit organizations engaged in community development activities. Utilizing an embedded mixed-methods case study approach, this study examines strategic actions and choices of three agencies engaged in community development activities in a single Midwest American satellite city. The research aims to apply and, as appropriate, extend Oliver’s (1991) theoretical typology of organization responsiveness to racial change in the satellite city environment. Based on U.S. Dicennial Census data, the study identifies racial change in Latino and African American populations, as well as a potential mismatch between social service agency headquarters and the geographic locations of the most profound racial changes. Qualitative study results indicate that nonprofit agencies in this specific satellite city environment employ both passive and adaptive strategies to responsively address program-related issues that arise as a result of racial demographic changes in the satellite city environment. As racially based migration patterns continue to increase the minority populations in the area, the study results have implications for community development practice, nonprofit studies, and community service planning in these geographies.
Subjectresponsiveness, racial change, satellite cities, nonprofit organizations, community development, organizational development