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Civil servants


Youlang Zhang, Assistant Professor, School of Public Administration and Policy, RUC


Youlang Zhang,Zijie Shao




Although governments frequently contract nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to provide public services, little is known about why civil servants are more willing to direct funding to some NPOs than to others. Based on previous research on government funding for NPOs, this study proposes a theoretical framework that combines NPOs " internal and external management strategies to explain civil servants " preferences for funding specific NPOs. On the basis of an original conjoint experiment of 1206 civil servants from China between 2020 and 2021, the analysis found that civil servants generally value the characteristics of rationalization, professionalization, collaboration, cooptation, and a prior history of receiving funding from the government in NPOs. A series of robustness checks were used to validate the theorized relationships. These findings have important implications for both future research and efforts to promote government–NPO contracting.

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