Assistant Professor Cheng Takes Early Look at Nonprofit Responses to Pandemic
April 13, 2021

Assistant Professor Yuan (Daniel) Cheng recently published a field report, "How did nonlocal grassroots nonprofits overcome administrative barriers to provide quick responses to COVID-19?" in Public Administration and Development

Cheng and his research partner focused on the initial stage of the COVID‐19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, and surrounding regions.

Despite the lack of resources and local connections, nonprofits there overcame administrative failures and provided quick responses to the crisis. Three strategies facilitating grassroots organizations' quick and effective responses are analyzed and discussed: Putting pandemic relief as the strategic priority of their organizations; leveraging social media platforms to scale up existing organizational networks and foster cross‐sector collaboration; and effective online trust‐building.

As COVID‐19 pushes nonprofits to transform how they deliver services and engage stakeholders, these findings have important policy and theoretical implications for an expanded view of how nonprofits may engage in disaster responses, and how public and private funders may shift their funding strategies to cultivate such capacities of grassroots nonprofits.