Not Profiting from Precarity: The Work of Nonprofit Service Delivery and the Creation of Precasiousness

  • Donna Baines
  • Ian Cunningham
  • John Campey
  • John Shields


This paper examines the impact of precarity on thenonprofit serviceproviding sector (NPSS). Using in depth qualitativeinterviews, recentempirically-based surveys of the Ontario nonprofitsector and key academic andgrey literature, we explore the deeper meaning of precarity in this sector. Wecontend that the NPSS is a unique, and in many respects, an ideal location inwhich to explore the workings and impact of precarity. Looking at the nonprofitsector reveals that precarity operates at various levels, the: 1) nonprofit labourforce; 2) organization structure and operation of nonprofit agencies; and, 3)clients and communities serviced by these nonprofitorganizations. By observingthe workings of precarity in this sector, precarityis revealed to be far more thanan employment based phenomenon but also a force that negatively impactsorganizational structures as well as vulnerable communities.
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