Date of Conferral


Date of Award

February 2024




Public Policy and Administration


Dr. Lori Demeter


In this study, the challenges impeding the establishment of sustainable partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in South Fulton, Georgia, and their potential impact on community development were explored. Drawing upon existing literature and employing a qualitative research approach involving ten community leaders from NPOs and ten small business (SB) owners, the perceived barriers hindering successful partnerships were examined through thematic coding in NVivo. The findings revealed a range of obstacles, including inadequate funding, limited financial capacity, divergent interests, uneven benefits, and challenges arising from the COVID-19 economic landscape. The study included insights into the potential for stronger partnerships through policy or programmatic changes, emphasizing the role of trust, commitment, and communication as pivotal factors in fostering successful collaborations. This research is significant, as it sheds light on avenues for small businesses and NPOs in South Fulton, Georgia, to navigate barriers, improve sustainability, and drive social change through collaborative initiatives. The study’s implications extend to community-based NPO leaders, SB owners, and managers, encouraging collaborative efforts to bolster community well-being and drive larger social change efforts. The study concludes with suggestions about the replication of similar research in diverse geographical contexts to expand empirical knowledge, promote positive social change, and glean broader insights applicable beyond South Fulton, Georgia, informing strategies for fostering successful partnerships between small businesses and NPOs in other states and regions.

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Public Policy Commons