The History of Nonprofit Organizations in America Essay

1364 Words6 Pages
The nonprofit sector in America is a reflection some of the foundational values that brought our nation into existence. Fundamentals, such as the idea that people can govern themselves and the belief that people should have the opportunity to make a difference by joining a like-minded group, have made America and its nonprofit sector what it is today. The American "civil society" is one that has been produced through generations of experiments with government policy, nonprofit organizations, private partnerships, and individuals who have asserted ideas and values. The future of the nonprofit sector will continue to be experimental in many ways. However, the increase of professional studies in nonprofit management and the greater…show more content…
57). Before the Great Depression of the thirties, the popular opinion was that the federal government should not be heavily involved in providing social welfare. However, the urbanization and industrialization of the early twentieth century, as well as the economic pressure of the 1930s, proved to be more than what state and local governments or private organizations could provide for. These pressures gave way for President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lead America into the New Deal. This included the creation of the U.S. Social Security Program, unemployment assistance, and needs-tested assistance (Salamon 1999, p.58). Roosevelt’s New Deal still left limited coverage, limited funding, and left much of the delivery of social service to state and local governments. Even with all the changes that have occurred in federal programs and policy over the years, Salamon shows that combined state and local governments continued to nearly match the amount of federal spending from 1950 through 1994 (p.59). This again reflects the tension and nature of the American system, which was intended to lean on the strength of the public to innovate and provide for itself. The debate over the amount of government involvement in providing assistance for Americans is still a very important issue as it relates to the role of nonprofit organizations in American society. In the mid 1960s more reforms were made in response to increased poverty. Lyndon Johnson dreamed of a

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