Craig Bellamy on Wed, 25 Apr 2007 17:30:55 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> CFP: Third Sector Review: Nonprofit Communication

*Call for Papers*

*Third Sector Review, Volume 14, No 2, 2008, Special Issue:*

*/Nonprofit Communication/*

*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
     voluntary engagement?
   * /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.

Please send submissions by email attachment to

Theme Editor

Dr Roumen Dimitrov <>

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 journal.

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