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Changing Times: A New Era for the Nonprofit Sector

Rather than a monolithic whole, the “nonprofit sector” can more accurately be described as a multitude of subsectors, including healthcare, education, social services, visual and performing arts, legal services, as well as religious, civic, social, philanthropic, fraternal and advocacy organizations, among others. These subject matter differences represent just one of the fault lines running through the conceptual territory occupied by the sector. As one commentator observed: “The fact is, the subsectors of the nonprofit world . . . are enormously varied. They get their resources from different places, they exhibit varying degrees of independence from the public sector, they are more or less engaged in the market economy, and they have quite distinct corporate cultures.”