Advocacy, astroturf, technology, campaigns, nonprofit organizations


Nonprofit Organizations advocate for the poor, the disenfranchised and the oppressed. This process is thought to build social capital and civil society, while engendering the development of social skills and deliberation. In recent years, scholars have observed that nonprofit advocacy organizations have moved from membership associations to professionalized policy change organizations. Virtual advocacy will move the process farther afield. Astroturf, the creation of synthetic advocacy efforts, continues this process further. All of this has troubling implications for nonprofit organizations and nonprofit theory. This paper describes the astroturf phenomenon, reviews pertinent nonprofit theory and speculates on the impact of astroturf for society and the further development of nonprofit theory.

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