Midwest Social Sciences Journal


Scandals within the nonprofit sector over compensation and management have increased calls for nonprofits to demonstrate accountability. Many organizations have responded by disclosing information online and providing tools that allow web-based interactions with stakeholders. The literature on nonprofits’ online accountability has found that the level of nonprofit online accountability is affected by their size, age, asset, revenue, and location, but hasn’t been examined in terms of how subsector influences online accountability. Through a web-content analysis of fifty-five nonprofits, this research investigated how subsector (arts and culture, education, health, and human services) influences online accountability using a framework of four types of online accountability: financial disclosure, performance disclosure, stakeholder input, and interactive engagement. The findings show that subsectors differ depending on the type of accountability being measured. Except for asset size, previous findings regarding revenue size, personnel size, and location were confirmed. Also, this research found that the arts and culture subsector demonstrated higher online accountability than health nonprofits. Human services nonprofits are more engaged in financial disclosure than organizations in the health subsector. Finally, it was found that as personnel size increases, stakeholder input and interactive engagement increases.