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 Proposals Due April 15, 2024



The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)Independent Sector, and Nonprofit Policy Forum invite proposals for the 13th annual Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits, which will focus on surfacing promising public policy recommendations to strengthen the nonprofit sector and philanthropy.  

A strong nonprofit sector that is healthy, trusted, and equitable is essential to building a nation in which all people thrive and democracy flourishes. In turn, a strong nonprofit sector is sustained by a robust infrastructure, or support system, that elevates the sector’s voice; works to ensure healthy and equitable nonprofit organizations; and secures an accommodating environment for nonprofit activity. Building this supportive infrastructure involves putting in place public policies that advance nonprofit representation in government, build nonprofits’ capacity to advance their missions and employ equitable practices, and establish an enabling environment that facilitates the important work of nonprofits. This year’s Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits will feature researchers and practitioners exploring public policies at the federal, state, and local levels that will help to fortify the nonprofit infrastructure which underpins a strong nonprofit sector and a healthy society which serves all people.

Proposal Content


Content theme

Nonprofit Civic Infrastructure: A Recipe for a Thriving Nation

Proposals should contain short 600-word, preliminary descriptions of papers they would like to present at the September event. The final papers, due August 23, 2024, for distribution to symposium participants, would then be longer 2,000-4,000-word research or experience-based articles, essays, case studies, or commentaries that will be discussed at the symposium.

We imagine that submissions may address a broad range of critical policy topics, including but not limited to:

•    Representation and Voice

  • Nonprofit representation within the government (e.g., a government office on the nonprofit sector) and nonprofit participation in public-private partnerships
  • Regulations and rules for nonprofit engagement in advocacy, lobbying, and nonpartisan civic activities
  • Government support for data on the nonprofit sector

•    Healthy and Equitable Organizations

  • Policies that help to strengthen the sector and advance nonprofit missions (e.g., tax incentives for charitable giving, government grants and contracts for nonprofit services, etc.)
  • Government research, education, and training that benefits nonprofits and their staff (e.g., training around data privacy best practices, etc.)
  • Policies that incentivize volunteerism and government funding for volunteerism (e.g., increased funding for AmeriCorps, volunteer mileage rate parity, etc.)

•   Supportive Environment for Nonprofit Activity 

  • Government backing for support structures that enable nonprofits to connect and learn from one another
  • Policies that support and educate the sector in the digital age (e.g., policies regarding artificial intelligence, data privacy, etc.)
  • Policies that support the nonprofit workforce (e.g., Public Service Loan Forgiveness, affordable childcare, retirement benefits, etc.)
  • Nonprofit access to broadband, public spaces, and other resources that support their work

Policy recommendations may relate to public policy at the federal, state, or local levels. However, policies should focus on the nonprofit sector and/or philanthropy as a whole or broad swaths of these, and not just on a particular nonprofit subfield such as health, human services, or the arts.

Proposal Requirements


Proposals are due on April 15 and should be submitted below. Submissions should include the following in a combined PDF document:                         

  • The proposal title      
  • A 600-word proposal describing in a preliminary way what the applicant intends to cover in a 2,000-4,000-word research or experience-based article, essay, case study, or commentary that discusses a nonprofit policy recommendation; and            
  • Short bios and short resumes or CVs for all authors.               

All proposals will be reviewed by the symposium planning committee’s review panel, composed of academic and practitioner reviewers. Authors will be notified in early June 2024 of their invitation to the online policy symposium that will be convened on September 20, 2024, and which is co-sponsored by ARNOVA, Independent Sector, and Nonprofit Policy Forum. Final papers for presentation at the symposium are due by August 23, 2024.


Applicants who are selected to present at the September symposium will receive honoraria of $250. The versions of the papers presented at the symposium can be revised by authors and then submitted by February 3, 2025, for review for possible publication as research articles, research notes, policy briefs, commentaries, or other formats in the journal Nonprofit Policy Forum in a special issue devoted to papers from the Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits (see the Nonprofit Policy Forum website for details about the process for submitting to the journal).

Authors may also be invited to take part in a session at the ARNOVA annual conference in Washington, DC, November 21-23, 2024, although authors interested in participating will need to cover their own expenses.

For further information about the symposium, please contact Fatima Hussain at or Emily Rogers at

View reports from previous Symposiums

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Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

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