Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Social Welfare

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 215 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Anne Fortune

Committee Members

Judith R Saidel, Nancy Claiborne


advocacy, consumers, empowerment, government, nonprofit, policy, Social advocacy, Social service, Nonprofit organizations, Power (Social sciences)

Subject Categories

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Political Science | Social Work


This study explores the advocacy patterns of over 200 nonprofit human service providers active in both anti-violence and anti-poverty service arenas. A mailed survey to organizations associated with three statewide advocacy organizations in New York State examined the organizational factors associated with three advocacy activities: case advocacy, public policy education, and legislative issue advocacy. Using empowerment theory, predictors that captured the degree of ethnic diversity of an organization's staff and board, and whether or not consumers served on the staff or board, and whether having social workers as advocates were examined along with other control variables to explain the conditions under which organizations engaged in all three kinds of advocacy; i.e. conducted empowerment-based advocacy. Classification tree and logistic regression analyses showed that an organization's mission (being anti-violence or anti-poverty), the degree of income from government and whether or not consumers served on the board or the staff, were the most important predictors of whether or not an organization engaged in all three forms of advocacy. Both high and low percents of income from government were associated with lower levels of an organization having an empowerment-based advocacy pattern.