Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (1 volume) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Robert M Purtell

Committee Members

Thad D Calabrese


Financial Management, Financial Vulnerability, Mergers, Nonprofit Finance, Nonprofit Organizations, Risk, September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001, Nonprofit organizations, Economic impact analysis, Economics, Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Finance and Financial Management


The three essays of this dissertation explore the experience of nonprofit organizations after the September 11 attacks to gain a better understanding of one specific type of risk nonprofit organizations face— “event risk” — which I broadly define as the risk of a negative impact on the operations of a nonprofit organization as a result of unexpected events. Essay One finds that overall nonprofit sector revenues were not reduced after the September 11 attacks and identifies characteristics of the revenue mix that make nonprofit organizations less susceptible to event risk. Essay Two identifies characteristics of nonprofit organizations’ financial conditions that can mitigate the impact of event risk on program/service delivery. Essay Three finds that few nonprofit organizations in New York State opted to merge following the attacks and were unsuccessful realizing the potential financial benefits of merging. The overall findings provide support to the nonprofit financial vulnerability theory and the benefits theory of nonprofit finance—two theories the nonprofit finance literature can call its own—and suggest that the nonprofit sector as a whole is resilient to unexpected events. The results also suggest that, depending on the subsector in which the nonprofit organization operates, nonprofit managers can benefit from different strategies to face event risk.