Quotation Becker, Annika, Boenigk, Silke, Willems, Jurgen. 2020. In Nonprofits We Trust? A Large-Scale Study on the Public’s Trust in Nonprofit Organizations. Journal of Non Profit and Public Sector Marketing. 32 (2), 189-216.




Nonprofit organizations highly depend on the public’s trust for legitimacy and support, to ultimately further their missions. Despite its high importance, little is known about the trust-building processes of the general public. In this study, we develop and test a multilevel study design to provide deeper insights into the public’s trust in nonprofit organizations and its relevant determinants. We used a comprehensive data set of 4,072 dyads, with survey data from 1,686 individuals and organizational data related to 102 German NPOs to investigate the different trust-building components: (1) individual public trust evaluation in NPO, (2) individual (trustor) context, and (3) organizational (trustee) context. The results of the analysis reveal unexpected differences in the importance of the different components for explaining the public’s trust in nonprofit organizations. Results show that the individual context is as relevant as the individual public trust evaluation, but the organizational context is far less important.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Non Profit and Public Sector Marketing
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-C
Language English
Title In Nonprofits We Trust? A Large-Scale Study on the Public’s Trust in Nonprofit Organizations
Volume 32
Number 2
Year 2020
Page from 189
Page to 216
Reviewed? Y
URL https://doi.org/10.1080/10495142.2019.1707744
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/10495142.2019.1707744
Open Access N


Willems, Jurgen (Details)
Becker, Annika (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Boenigk, Silke (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Institute for Public Management and Governance IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5308 Management sciences (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
6906 Public research (Details)
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