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12th Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits

To 2024 and Beyond: Public Policy Recommendations for the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy

September 22, 2023 - Convened Virtually



The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)Independent Sector, and Nonprofit Policy Forum invite proposals for the 12th Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits, which will focus on surfacing promising public policy recommendations to strengthen the nonprofit sector and philanthropy.

In order to enact public policies that support nonprofits, philanthropy, and the communities they serve, policymakers must first hear from nonprofit leaders and researchers about nonprofit and community needs and policies that will address these needs. One of the best opportunities to educate policymakers is during campaign season when candidates are out in communities, visiting nonprofits, talking to constituents, and receiving ideas from researchers. As the nation looks forward to the 2024 elections and beyond, what public policy recommendations related to nonprofits and philanthropy should be considered by policymakers and others who care about the important role these institutions play in our society? This year’s Nonprofit Public Policy Symposium will feature both researchers and practitioners presenting their research and experience-based policy ideas for discussion

Proposal Content

Proposals should contain short 600-word, preliminary descriptions of the papers they would like to present at the September event. The final papers, due August 18, 2023, for distribution to symposium participants, would then be longer 2,000-4,000 word research or experience-based articles, essays, or commentaries that will be discussed at the symposium.

We imagine that submissions may address a broad range of critical policy topics, including but not limited to:

  • The representation of nonprofits and philanthropy within government. For example, some have suggested establishing a Small Business Administration (SBA)-type agency focused on the nonprofit sector;.
  • Public policies that proactively meet the needs of small nonprofits (i.e., access to capital, federal programs to support growth & development, training to capitalize on government grants/contracts, government-subsidized benefits, etc.);
  • Policies that support recruitment and retention of talent in the nonprofit workforce;
  • Regulatory policy related to nonprofits and philanthropy;
  • Tax policy related to nonprofits and philanthropy;
  • Digital policy affecting nonprofits and philanthropy;
  • Policies affecting the civic engagement activities of nonprofits and philanthropy (volunteerism, giving, advocacy, nonpartisan voter engagement);
  • How government funding policies affect nonprofits; and
  • How the government grant and contracting process works for nonprofits.

Policy recommendations may relate to public policy at the federal, state, or local levels. However, policies should focus on the nonprofit sector and/or philanthropy as a whole or broad swaths of these, and not solely focus on a particular nonprofit subfield such as health, human services, or the arts.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals are due on April 14 - Extended to April 28

and should be submitted online on the ARNOVA website below. Submissions should include the following in a combined PDF document:

  • The proposal title;
  • A 600-word proposal describing in a preliminary way what the applicant intends to cover in a 2,000-4,000-word research or experience-based article, essay, or commentary that discusses a nonprofit policy recommendation; and
  • Short bios and short resumes or CVs for all authors.

All proposals will be reviewed by the symposium planning committee’s review panel, composed of academic and practitioner reviewers. Authors will be notified in early June 2023 of their invitation to the online policy symposium that will be convened on September 22, 2023, and which is co-sponsored by ARNOVA, Independent Sector, and Nonprofit Policy Forum. Final papers for presentation at the symposium are due by August 18, 2023.


Applicants who are selected to present at the September symposium will receive honoraria of $250. The versions of the papers presented at the symposium can be revised by authors and then submitted by February 1, 2024 for review for possible publication as research articles, research notes, policy briefs, commentaries, or other formats in the journal Nonprofit Policy Forum in a special issue devoted to papers from the Nonprofit Public Policy Symposium (see the Nonprofit Policy Forum website for details about the process for submitting to the journal).

Authors may also be invited to take part in a session at the ARNOVA annual conference in Orlando, Florida, November 16-18, 2023, although authors interested in participating will need to cover their own expenses.

For further information about the symposium, please contact Fatima Hussain at or Emily Rogers at

Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline - April 28th
  • Notification of Acceptance/Rejection - Early June
  • Fulls Paper Due - August 18th
  • 2023 Virtual Symposium - September 22nd
  • Honoraria Payments - End October
  • Revised Papers Due - February 1, 2024


View reports from previous Symposiums

About our partners for this event:

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