Public–Nonprofit Collaboration in Homeless Services: Are Nonprofit-Led Networks More Effective in Winning Federal Funding?

AuthorJesus N. Valero,David Lee,Hee Soun Jang
Published date01 March 2021
Date01 March 2021
Subject MatterArticles
Administration & Society
2021, Vol. 53(3) 353 –377
© The Author(s) 2020
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/0095399720947991
Collaboration in
Homeless Services:
Are Nonprofit-Led
Networks More Effective
in Winning Federal
Jesus N. Valero1, David Lee2, and
Hee Soun Jang3
Does nonprofit leadership have an impact on the performance of collaborative
networks? This article examines the degree to which nonprofit-led networks
and other governance characteristics matter in explaining the performance
of network achieving federal funding. Specifically, we hypothesize that
networks led by nonprofit organizations may achieve more funding and
project awards than those led by government organizations. Using data
from a national survey of local homeless service networks, we find that
contrary to the hypothesized expectations, networks led by nonprofits are
less successful in federal funding and project award than networks led by
government organizations.
1University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
2University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA
3University of North Texas, Denton, USA
Corresponding Author:
David Lee, Public Administration Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2424 Maile Way,
Saunders 631, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
947991AASXXX10.1177/0095399720947991Administration & SocietyValero et al.
354 Administration & Society 53(3)
nonprofit-led network, cross-sector collaboration, homeless network,
federal grant competition
Public–nonprofit collaboration continues to be an important area of study for
public administration students and practitioners. Working with other organi-
zations is a strategic decision aimed at addressing problems that cannot be
solved independently (Agranoff & McGuire, 2003; Bryson et al., 2006).
Furthermore, working with different sectors has become a common gover-
nance model, especially in delivering local social services in the United
States. Cross-sector collaboration has also become a major research area in
the public administration context; however, many empirical research areas
remain insufficiently explored, including the choice of network governance
and its potential impact on joint achievement (Klijn et al., 2010). For exam-
ple, one of the first decisions to be made by the collaborating parties relates
to whether leadership should be granted to a government agency or a non-
profit organization. Other considerations include determining the conditions
most likely to affect a network’s success in winning government funding.
Specifically, it should be established at the outset (a) if networks led by a
nonprofit are more effective than government-led networks in winning fed-
eral funding, and (b) whether and how the network size or participation rate
would affect a network’s capacity to win federal dollars. In this study, ques-
tions related to the choice of governance models in cross-sector collaboration
are addressed, while aiming to establish its practical relevance in securing
important funding sources from the federal government.
In most extant studies on collaborative governance, it is assumed that gov-
ernment organizations initiate public service collaborations (Ansell & Gash,
2008; Bryson et al., 2006). Moreover, by using public dollars to fund collab-
orative efforts for public services, government is assumed to steer the col-
laboration process (McGuire, 2002). However, findings yielded by more
recent research indicate that, in the case of homeless service collaboration,
nonprofit (rather than government) organizations are increasingly leading
collaboration networks (Valero & Jang, 2016). Thus, these new trends prompt
the need to ascertain whether there are any differences in the resource
achievements between networks that are led by nonprofit organizations and
those led by government entities.
Empirical evidence indicates that having the leading agency that is willing
to invest time and resources to drive collaboration is key to successful network

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT