Nonprofit Reputation Management in the Eyes of the Stakeholder

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Alan Abitbol


Stakeholder perceptions impact an organization's identity, image, and reputation. Utilizing stakeholder theory, identity theory, and social identity theory as framework, this study examined internal and external stakeholder perceptions of an organization and its identity, image, and reputation, specifically to evaluate whether the organization's identity, image, and reputation are consistent across stakeholder groups. Like for profit organizations, nonprofit organizations (NPOs) also rely on stakeholder perceptions of the organization's identity, image, and reputation. To examine how stakeholder perceptions of identity, image and reputation impact a nonprofit, a case study of a local Cincinnati nonprofit organization, The Calvary Academy (TCA), was conducted through eleven semi-structured interviews. The results showed that TCA's identity, image, and reputation are perceived by internal and external stakeholders in similar ways - what the organization says their identity is internally, is confirmed through perceptions of their external stakeholders. However, due to the nature of a smaller nonprofit organization and the connection between TCA being a ministry of a larger nonprofit organization, The Calvary Church, there is limited visibility within the local community of TCA and, as a result, TCA is not widely known in the community. The findings suggest that if TCA were to increase visibility within the local community, they would need to increase their use of branding, as well as, to utilize their network of current supporters to promote the school through word of mouth advertising.


Communication, Nonprofit Organizations, Reputation, Identity, Image, Stakeholder Perceptions

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