[Administration & Society] The Contingent Value of Political Connections on Donations to Chinese Foundations: Exploring the Moderating Role of Transparency

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Yuan Cheng, Zhongsheng Wu

Existing studies assume that the value of political connections is homogeneous to different types of nonprofits and seldom consider their interplay with other accountability mechanisms. Based on a multilevel analysis of 2,085 foundations in China, this study builds and tests a theoretical framework of the contingent value of political connections to nonprofits, treating transparency as a moderator for the relationship between political connections and donations. Our findings suggest that while transparency is positively associated with the amount of donations obtained by foundations, political connections can help foundations obtain more donations only when their transparency score is higher than a certain threshold.

Keywords political connections, transparency, private donations, moderation effect, Chinese foundations

Full text: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399720945969