A Conceptual Model of Social Impact as Active Citizenship

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Voluntas, 2015, 26 (4), pp. 1529 - 1549
Issue Date:
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© 2014, International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University. Participation in Civil Society Organizations (CSO) draws on and enriches social, cultural, and human capital. Social impacts of such participation as active citizenship are systemic and ‘ripple’ far beyond the immediate program outputs and outcomes. CSOs and the third sector as a whole must demonstrate and gage the difference they make in the social life of the broader community. This research offers a new approach to conceptualize CSO social impacts through an empirically derived model that accounts for the impacts of active citizenship for individuals, organizations, and the broader community. A conceptual model of systemic social impact is presented as it was developed through an exploratory study of a large Australian CSO using an abductive methodology combining focus groups and a survey. Considering the potential of the model that could account for impacts beyond program outputs and outcomes, we propose several propositions for future testing the conceptual model.
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