The Boy Scouts of America: How Society's Changing Attitudes Affect Nonprofit Culture
Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofit organizations. They are essential for guidance and governance on boards, for administrative support, and in some cases, to physically deliver the nonprofit’s program in support of its mission. Research suggests that volunteer motivation varies somewhat by individual, and alignment with the nonprofit’s mission may be one of the primary factors. Changing generational leadership, national demographics, and perspectives of tolerance may affect the volunteer base and the influence volunteers have over a nonprofit’s culture. Using the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as a case in point, I examine how the changing attitudes in culture and society influenced its membership policy. The history and culture of the BSA, volunteerism within the organization, the influence of changing generational leadership on volunteerism, organizational culture, and membership policy is also considered. Additionally, I suggest ways in which other nonprofit organizations' leadership might learn from the BSA’s challenges as they navigate the effects of society’s changing attitudes on volunteerism and the resulting impact on organizational culture.
Harkins, David, "The Boy Scouts of America: How Society's Changing Attitudes Affect Nonprofit Culture" (2021). Graduate Student Publications. 11.
Organization Development Journal
Organization Development Institute
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