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53rd Annual ARNOVA Conference

Dreaming for a Bright Nonprofit Future:

Policy Making, Technology, and Collaboration in a Dynamic Environment

Nov 21-23, 2024 | Washington D.C.

The ARNOVA conference is designed to create a public conversation on, as well as opportunities for presenting research about, pressing issues and vital opportunities facing the voluntary or nonprofit sector. It is both a showcase for the best and most current research, as well as a seed bed from which new research is born. This three-day event includes two plenary sessions, 180+ panel and/or paper presentation sessions, a poster session and numerous opportunities for networking/idea sharing.


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Conference Theme

The 2024 ARNOVA conference will be held in Washington DC, home to the US Federal Government and headquarters of many domestic and international nonprofit organizations. This year’s conference theme provides us the opportunity to consider the intersections between the nonprofit sector, government, and public policy. We invite you to consider these intersections with emphasis on the increasingly tenuous relationships between nonprofits and government, opportunities and threats of the rapid acceleration of technology, and the role of growing influence of special interest groups on the work of the nonprofit sector.  We elaborate on these themes below.  


First, the ARNOVA conference will take place in Washington DC right after the 2024 U.S. presidential and congressional elections that have the potential to reshape the U.S. Federal Government. This setting provides a context for us to take a deep dive into the intricate tapestry of government and nonprofit relationships and the role of public policy in shaping the nonprofit sector. Considering an increasingly hostile environment for social safety nets and other government funded services delivered by nonprofits, how can nonprofits engage in policy advocacy efforts to provide stability for the sector and those they serve? Should nonprofits be more engaged in policy making?  How can nonprofit organizations grapple with political divisions that threaten public funding for everything from social services to the arts to higher education? We also invite you to take a comparative perspective on government-nonprofit relations and the role of nonprofit in policy making in non US countries.  


Second, rapid development and adoption of digital technology, such as ChatGPT and other AI-related technology, presents tremendous opportunities and challenges for the nonprofit sector.  Implications for data privacy, automation, performance management, worker creativity, and productivity may have a profound impact on how the nonprofit sector operates. Yet, many questions remain unanswered. For example, how can nonprofits leverage AI and other digital technologies to enhance their service delivery and overall impact on mission while simultaneously addressing the potential risks associated with these technologies, such as misinformation and privacy concerns? What is the role of public policy in shaping the development and use of digital technology for the nonprofit sector? Again, we invite perspectives from non U.S. contexts to understand the role of this changing technological landscape on the nonprofit sector.


Third, we invite you to consider how the multiplicity of nonprofit sector actors and stakeholders- including governments, clients, donors, and grassroots social movements- shape governance, accountability, operations, and impact of the nonprofit sector. In particular, how can this constellation of actors collaborate effectively to create durable solutions to wicked problems facing society?  As scholars and practitioners, how can we elevate a systems perspective that emphasizes multi actor collaboration rather than siloed approaches to solving complex challenges such as famine, armed conflict, poverty, and other issues not contained to a single organization, sector, or nation?


Join us at ARNOVA 2024 to explore innovative ideas, share insights, and forge partnerships to inspire nonprofit sector responses to an ever-changing world.

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