Organizational sensegiving: Indicators and nonprofit signaling

Jamie Levine Daniel, Adam Eckerd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resource acquisition depends upon the agreement between an organization's sense of identity and the perceptions of organizational identity held by resource providers. To smooth the flow of resources and buffer against potential issues, organizations seek to manage external perceptions and, to the extent possible, control their organizational identity. Using exploratory factor analysis, we examine the data from 300 GuideStar profiles to develop a sense of how nonprofit organizations “give sense” to resource providers and attempt to manage their organizational identity. We find evidence of three sensegiving strategies. We then use a seemingly unrelated regression model to examine the relationship between these strategies and revenue outcomes, finding evidence that (a) nonprofit organizations demonstrate intentional sensegiving, and (b) different sensegiving approaches are related to different income streams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • differentiation
  • legitimacy
  • nonprofits
  • organizational identity
  • sensegiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


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