We present a model of nonprofit governance built on two assumptions: (1) organizations wish to hold precautionary savings in order to smooth expenditures; and (2) it is relatively easy for managers to divert these funds for personal use. Hence, donors face a trade off between expenditure smoothing and donation dissipation.We examine the model's predictions using panel data on U.S. nonprofits. We show that organizations in states with poor government oversight have managerial compensation that is more highly correlated with inflows of donations and allocate a smaller percentage of donations to the endowment for future expenditures relative to organizations in strong oversight states.
Fisman, Raymond, and R. Glenn Hubbard. "Precautionary savings and the governance of nonprofit organizations." Journal of Public Economics 89 (2005): 2231-2243.
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