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From receiving to achieving: The role of relationship and dependence for nonprofit organisations in corporate partnerships

Kathryn Lefroy (Department of Marketing, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Yelena Tsarenko (Department of Marketing, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 20 September 2013




The goal of this study is to examine the influence of resources provided to nonprofit organisations by corporate partners on the achievement of nonprofits' social and organisational objectives, accounting for mediation effects of dependence and relationship. This goal is investigated from the perspective of nonprofit organisations.


Following 20 preliminary in-depth interviews, an online survey was administered to people working in nonprofit industry who had experience working with their organisation's corporate partnership. With 273 completed questionnaires, the authors tested the model with mediation analyses, using bias-corrected bootstrap confidence intervals method.


Although reputation, non-financial resources and cash investments have strong and positive effects on achieving social and organisational objectives, these relations are fully mediated by dependence and relationship between partners. Further analysis shows that relationship is a significantly stronger mediator than dependence on the effect of reputation in regards to the achievement of both sets of objectives.


This article builds on marketing knowledge, using resource dependence theory to focus on the effects of corporate-provided resources on nonprofit organisations; a topic largely unexplored in extant literature. It is the first study to operationalise and empirically examine the specific effects of different types of resources on specific nonprofit performance objectives.



The authors are grateful to the Associate Editor and two reviewers for their constructive comments and helpful input on the earlier versions of this article. The authors express their gratitude and appreciation to Michael Polonsky for his comments and insight which greatly helped to improve and shape the manuscript.


Lefroy, K. and Tsarenko, Y. (2013), "From receiving to achieving: The role of relationship and dependence for nonprofit organisations in corporate partnerships", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 10, pp. 1641-1666.



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