Efficiency and Unrestricted Gifts in the Guatemalan Nonprofit Sector

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Asia Haley Newlin-Blackwell
Harriette Rothwell
Isabela Lyrio


As the nonprofit sector continues to grow, a shift in funding has occurred, from giving unrestricted gifts to giving primarily restricted donations. This shift places increased pressure on nonprofits to appear efficient and is especially predominant in the international sector. This study aims to understand how this shift in funding has created issues for Pionero Philanthropy’s nonprofit partners in the Republic of Guatemala.

After conducting 56 semi-structured interviews with Pionero Philanthropy’s nonprofit partners across Guatemala, thematic analysis revealed where funding was most needed: operations, specifically directed towards salaries and staffing. This study shows that by redirecting the focus away from efficiency and toward the promotion of comprehensive donor education, donors will gain more trust in nonprofits and will be more willing to give larger unrestricted gifts to operations. By funding this need, Guatemalan nonprofits will have the opportunity to perform better across Pionero Philanthropy's Five Pillar Evaluation, an evaluation system that measures five best practices supported by nonprofit academic literature (sustainability, impact, transparency, relevance, and a redefined efficiency).


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How to Cite
Newlin-Blackwell, A. H., Rothwell, H., & Lyrio, I. (2020). Efficiency and Unrestricted Gifts in the Guatemalan Nonprofit Sector. Journal of Public and Environmental Affairs, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.14434/jpea.v1i1.30320