Examining the Agency-Foundation Relationship in Local Park and Recreation Services


  • Nicholas A. Pitas State University of New York - Brockport
  • Samantha A. Powers
  • Andrew Mowen




Local parks and recreation, non-profit organization


Local park and recreation agencies supply a variety of community-based services, often at little or no direct cost to users. To supplement tax-based allocations, many agencies rely on partnerships with park foundations, nonprofit organizations that directly support park and recreation service delivery. Despite their prevalence and importance, there is a lack of empirical evidence about the agency-foundation (AF) relationship; this project begins to address this need, and seeks to inform the efforts of professionals navigating these partnerships. Results from a survey of National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) member agencies (n = 235) illustrated that these partnerships are generally viewed as close, effective, and strong, and of particular value relevant to “big picture” agency activities such as fundraising and community engagement. A comparison of communities indicates that the AF relationship is more common in larger communities, and among larger and more complex agencies. Practical implications for practitioners and potential directions for future research are discussed.

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Author Biography

Nicholas A. Pitas, State University of New York - Brockport

Assistant Professor, State University of New York, the College at Brockport, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.





Research Notes