Sustainability of nonprofit organizations: An empirical investigation

Jay Weerawardena, Robert E. McDonald, Gillian Sullivan Mort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) contribute to society through their social value creation. They operate in an increasingly turbulent context where building sustainable organizations has emerged as a critical need. Past authors have discussed this important issue in a fragmented manner. Using multiple case studies of socially entrepreneurial NPOs, this paper examines how the need for building a sustainable organization has impacted on the strategy focus of the nonprofit organization. The findings suggest that in response to an increased competitive environment, NPOs have been forced to adopt an organizational sustainability focus in both strategic and operational levels of management. The study makes a strong contribution to current debate in social entrepreneurship and to a broader agenda concerned with developing sustainable organizations. Whilst the findings have important implications for theory and current practice, the paper concludes with suggestions for future research at the interstices of these areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-356
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Nonprofit
  • Organizational sustainability
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Social value creation


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