Dr. Stuart C. Mendel is the Assistant Dean for the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice. He received a Ph.D. Social Policy History and a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University, and a bachelors of arts in geology and geography from Miami University of Ohio. His research interests include the nature of the nonprofit sector, uses of nonprofit organizations in civil society, social capital, private/public partnerships, the political capacity of nonprofit organizations and urban history.
2005 0-7734-6233-3 This study uses nonprofit community organizations in the Union Miles, University Circle and Midtown Corridor neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio to reflect “from the-bottom-up” community organizing practiced not simply by grassroots property owners, but by the leadership of resource-rich private institutions, and business owners in a major North American city. These organizations illustrate the “private government” of civil society and the promise and possibilities of private action affecting the public good that we have come to associate with the nonprofit sector. Through this study, we observe a process that assigns to nonprofits the nurturing of civil society by intertwining public and private players in decision-making, in allocating resources outside the bounds of government, as a continuum of actions of individuals or organizations, as the outcome of the aggregate of customs that comprise American culture and freedoms. Describing the nature of these organizations and their ceaseless role in helping Cleveland preserve its wealth and civil society offers us insights as we labor to educate our legislators into adopting ways to utilize nonprofits; reform the nonprofit sector to meet the needs of changing society; educate nonprofit leaders and managers; duplicate the system of checks and balances the private sector has with government and business in other countries in the aftermath of September 11, 2001