Commentary: Beyond Revenue Dependence

Date01 January 2014
Published date01 January 2014
AuthorCarol Kellermann
Beyond Revenue Dependence 25
Carol Kellermann
Citizens Budget Commission
Beyond Revenue Dependence Commentary
Carol Kellermann is president of the
Citizens Budget Commission. She has more
than 25 years of experience in leadership
positions in nonprof‌i t, philanthropic, and
government settings. She served as interim
executive director of the Alliance for Young
Artists and Writers and PENCIL, Inc., and as
consultant to City University of New York.
As executive director and chief executive
off‌i cer of the September 11 Fund, she over-
saw the provision of grants and assistance
for the needs of victims of the September
11 attacks. Prior to that, she was executive
director of Learning Leaders. Kellermann
was chief of staff to Congressman Charles
E. Schumer and held executive positions
in New York City government, including
deputy commissioner of the Department of
Finance. She holds degrees from Harvard
Law School and Harvard College.
s a practitioner with experience in both
government and the nonprof‌i t sector, I found
Deanna Malatesta and Craig R. Smith’s
discussion of resource dependence (RD) theory in
their article “Lessons from Resource Dependence
eory for Contemporary Public and Nonprof‌i t
Management” interesting and helpful in thinking
about the response of both sectors to the “new nor-
mal” of scarce resources.
It is certainly true that public and nonprof‌i t executives
face a new f‌i scal reality of resource (i.e., revenue) scar-
city. For example, in New York State, where I live and
work, cost-of-living adjustments to state contracts with
social service providers used to be taken for granted;
they have not received one in f‌i ve years. Moreover, the
stress of the recession has had an impact not only on
government funding but also funding from founda-
tions and private philanthropists.
As described by the authors, RD theory posits that
mergers and other forms of alliance, whether hori-
zontal or vertical, are driven by the motivation of
managers to f‌i nd resources despite the risks of loss of
power and autonomy. But rarely are organizational
changes of this magnitude explained entirely by one
factor or goal.
It is certainly true that the need for adequate and
stable sources of revenue has sparked more widespread

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