*Third Sector Review, Volume 14, No 2, 2008, Special Issue:*
*Theme Editor: Roumen Dimitrov*
The communication environment of nonprofit organisations has changed
dramatically. Globalisation, deregulation and privatisation processes
have prompted organisations to resort more and more often to
professional communicators. Resource-rich organisations increasingly
employ internally and hire externally media, marketing, advertising and
public relations experts. Governments on all levels (the “first sector”)
strengthen their communication prowess gradually; businesses (the
“second sector”) do it exponentially. Only few decades ago, political
mediators, who conveyed the organisations’ messages to a variety of
publics, were locked mainly in government bureaus and party rooms.
Today, they have spread across all sectors of the globalised and yet
further fragmented society. As public speakers, moderators and
translators from a myriad of private interests, values and discourses
into the language of the public sphere, their importance grows by the day.
How do nonprofit organisations (the bulk of the “third sector”) respond
to the challenges of this new communication environment? How do they
cope with the mounting competition, including among themselves, for the
scarce resource of public attention and media publicity – the “oxygen”
of the civil society? To what effect does the professionalisation of
communication lead in a sector that essentially defines itself as
voluntary, non-professional? Do the vast majority of nonprofits, which
are resource-poor, have alternative options, which could possibly offset
the advantages of the few big and wealthy agencies? How successful are
the new communication strategies and tactics that the nonprofit groups
employ in response? Who are the winners and who the losers in this
contest? What are the ultimate lessons learned?
The following gives some indication of the range of possible topics, but
is not intended to rule out other questions.
* /Mapping nonprofit communication:/ What interdisciplinary mixes
and new approaches could sharpen theory and research of nonprofit
* /Nonprofits as news-sources:/ What are the new strategies to build
media/cultural capital and shape the nonprofit organisation as a
reliable, sought-after subsidiary for journalist news?
* /Communicating voluntarism: /How does communication relate to the
recent change in the patterns of giving, where time (mutuality) is
down and money (donations) is up?
* /Going online:/ How do e-advocacy and e-campaigning facilitate
and/or impede the mobilisation leverage of nonprofits?
* /Expertise for nonprofits:/ Can community organisations make use
of communication expertise in areas such as marketing, advertising
and public relations?
* /New alliances:/ How successful are the new alliances such as
online “networks of networks”, academia engaged in community
advocacy, and joint ventures between agencies and businesses?
* /Grassroots communication:/ Do professional skills contradict
* /Pro-active accountability:/ Can organisational reports serve as a
tool to attract larger and better targeted publics?
* /Learning from the future: /What is the future of nonprofit
communication? Are there recent campaign cases in areas such as
advocacy, social services, fundraising and representation, which
may probably flag new directions and developments?
Papers should be between 4,000-6,000 words in length, double-spaced in
Times New Roman, 12 pt, with 2.5cm margins. Please include a brief (100
word) abstract and 3-5 key words. As papers are blind reviewed please
indicate your name and affiliation on a separate page.
Abstracts should be sent to the theme editor by 1 August 2007.
Following proposal assessments, papers for refereeing will be required
by 1 November 2007, with any revisions to be completed by 1 March 2008.
/Third Sector Review/ is explicitly cross-disciplinary, with both
theoretical and empirical papers invited from a range of disciplines and
fields of practice. Critiques of existing theory or practice are
invited. Contributions are encouraged from both practitioners and
academics. For Australian academic authors, /TSR/ is a DEST recognised