Competition and Sensegiving: Nonprofit Markets and Organizational Signaling

Adam Eckerd, Jacob Fowles, Jamie Levine Daniel, Riley Sandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we investigate how an organization’s position within its nonprofit marketplace influences how nonprofits convey images about themselves to their stakeholders. We discuss the nature of competition in the nonprofit sector and explore the different competitive positions that nonprofits find themselves in. We assess how this positionality affects the ways that nonprofits attempt to convey images, or senses, of themselves to external audiences. We find that these sensegiving approaches are affected by competition, particularly when considered together with the stage of the organization’s lifecycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-52
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Nonprofit Competition
  • Nonprofit Markets
  • Sensegiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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