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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

2007 Honors Theses

computer science

Author: William Clerico
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Title: Web 2.0 and Communication in Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study and Proof of Concept
Advisor: William Ames
The nonprofit sector is a large piece of the U.S. economy with tremendous growth. There are 1.5 million different organizations with revenues of (670 billion annually. 109 million Americans volunteer each year. With such large amounts of money flowing through these organizations each year, there has been several studies looking at the efficiencies with which they operate.

In 2003, the Harvard Business Review published a comprehensive study of the nonprofit sector, specifically the largest 200,000 organizations which have revenue of more than $25,000 every year. They identified five major areas for improvement:

  1. Reduce funding costs
  2. Distribute holdings faster
  3. Reduce program service costs
  4. Trim administrative costs
  5. Improve sector effectiveness

The authors of the article made several suggestions about how to improve these various areas, even brushing upon the topic of technology by way of online solicitation donation. However, they also mentioned the difficulties of improving efficiency without significant time and capital investment. It is also difficult to talk in the general sense about the application of technology when the scope of nonprofit organizations is so broad and so varied.