Strings attached: new public management, competitive grant funding and social capital
This paper first investigates the impact of New Public Management (NPM) practices, particularly competitive grant funding, on Bushcare New South Wales (NSW), an Australian environmental volunteering organisation. Secondly, identifying such local volunteering organisations as repositories of valuable social capital, it explores the link between volunteering and social capital. Using mixed methods and institutional theory, the study reveals that an increased level of professionalism and accountability is required of Bushcare groups, and that local coordinators face a challenge in balancing local, regional and national priorities without sacrificing Bushcare's mission. These dynamics, it is proposed, have potentially serious social capital implications.