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Special issue of Nonprofit Policy Forum

Call for Papers (download here)

ERNOP Special Issue in Nonprofit Policy Forum

Philanthropy and Crises:

Roles and Functioning of Philanthropy in times of Societal Upheavals

We are pleased to announce that a special issue of Nonprofit Policy Forum will be dedicated to the theme of the 11th International ERNOP Conference. Scholars who will present their papers at the 2023 ERNOP conference at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in which we will focus on the roles that philanthropy in its different forms can play during and after crisis and social upheavals, are invited to submit their full papers for the special issue. The journal is open access and has no publication charges.

Philanthropy plays a key role in times of crisis. Philanthropic initiatives are often the first to engage when a crisis emerges and the last that remain when a crisis ends. Climate change created action by groups in society that were not traditionally considered philanthropic; the COVID crisis already saw the birth of many philanthropic initiatives and the war in Ukraine sparked generosity in Europe that might be – in absolute terms – unprecedented in history. However, at the same time, and within the context of societal upheavals, philanthropy is also criticized for being ineffective, its particularism, its elitism, and even as agents of influence by unwanted entities. Traditional forms of philanthropy are considered outdated by some and replaced by alternative forms like impact investing or informal and ad hoc giving through online and mobile platforms.

Against the background of these crises and developments, we invite papers to take stock not only of the roles that philanthropy in its different forms can play during and after social upheavals, but also of the crisis that certain forms of philanthropy may face. Questions to be addressed in this special issue may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How does philanthropy develop during crises and how can philanthropic behavior be sustained when a crisis fades away? To what extent does this vary depending on individual, organizational or national contexts?
  • How come a societal phenomenon that is defined as ‘private action for the public good’ and literally is translated as ‘love for mankind’ often must deal with negative perceptions in the public opinion?
  • How can philanthropic organizations and initiatives remain better connected with their constituents and societal stakeholders in times of crisis?
  • To what extent is philanthropy able to overcome its shortcomings and can it live up to its potential? What is needed to make philanthropy live up to its potentially catalytic capacities in contexts of societal unrest?
  • What can we learn from history of the role that philanthropy can play in transforming our society to address the crises of tomorrow?
  • What is the relevance of alternative sources of philanthropy like donating data, online volunteering and informal giving platforms and to what extent can this be used by philanthropic organizations in face of the crisis affecting more traditional, predigital forms of giving?

The special issue will be comprised primarily of research articles, and may include one or more research note, policy brief, commentary, case study, interview, or book review. Instructions for submissions are available on the NPF website:


Please take note of the following guidelines and working timeline:

2/12/23 Abstract/proposal submission deadline for ERNOP 2023 conference:

6/4/23 Optional deadline to submit full conference paper to the guest editors for initial feedback through the ERNOP Conference system.

10/12/23: Deadline for full papers (prior conference paper submission not required) to be submitted for peer review via NPF’S online submission portal. Please indicate that your submission is intended for the ERNOP SI.

Please contact the guest editors with any questions: