Doctoral thesis

Strategies to access and manage donations for humanitarian operations


146 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2018

English Scarcity of funding and high competition among organizations are typical characteristics of the humanitarian setting, which create high uncertainty for humanitarian organizations (HOs) regarding their ability to access and manage the required donations for their operations. In contrast with past research, which usually considers that HOs have a passive role in the donations process, the main contribution of this dissertation is to propose that HOs can have an active agency in this process. HOs can follow strategies to secure the funding required to achieve their mission and to adequately manage the received donations. Three different studies outline these strategies. Following an organizational perspective, the first study draws on resource dependence theory (RDT) and relational embeddedness to investigate the strategies that HOs follow to reduce uncertainty and to access financial resources from institutional donors (governmental agencies). The second and third studies follow an individual perspective on donations. The second study investigates the use of crowdfunding as a new channel to raise individual donations and the strategies HOs can use to potentiate online crowdfunding campaigns using transparency. The third study considers operational strategies to manage individual time donations, i.e. volunteer management, in the case of a charity storehouse that faces uncertainty regarding volunteer experience and congestion. To test the hypotheses and address the research questions, this thesis uses a multi-method approach, including empirical analysis, case study, and simulation.
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