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The Lincy Institute

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Las Vegas, NV

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Many of the economic, social, and demographic issues facing southern Nevada are dynamic and interrelated, requiring a coordinated approach on the part of southern Nevada’s non‐profit community. The coordination of services, skills, and talents enables community needs to be addressed in ways that exceed the scope and capacity of any single organization. With the increasing desire of funding organizations to support collaborative efforts, maintaining sustainable connections between southern Nevada’s non‐profit organizations is needed now more than ever before.

This is the first comprehensive study of southern Nevada’s health, education, and social service non‐profit network. Via a web‐based survey of nearly 300 executive directors and other leaders of health, education, and social service related non‐profit organizations, we were able to conduct a social network analysis to identify the structure of the non‐profit network as well as the positions of individual organizations within that network. We found that southern Nevada’s non‐profit network is not very dense, but that this is partly because of the vast size of the network (460 organizations were identified). The largest organizations are well connected, but there are opportunities for developing more connections across organizations of all sizes and sectors. Our findings show that the average organization is connected with 10 other non‐profit organizations in southern Nevada, but there are also a number of isolates (i.e., completely disconnected organizations).

In terms of overall participation and activity, influence, access to information and resources, and ability to mobilize the non‐profit community, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), United Way of Southern Nevada (UWSN), HELP of Southern Nevada, Catholic Charities, Three Square, the Clark County School District, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, and Opportunity Village consistently ranked highly. However, there were also a number of smaller organizations that we found to be important brokers and connectors, and these organizations can be used as models for helping to build the capacity of lower‐budget and lesser‐resourced organizations in the community.

When asked about barriers to collaboration, survey respondents indicated lack of funding and resources, perceptions of territoriality and competition, the need for training, concern about lack of data availability and usage, the desire for more networking opportunities, and critiques of leadership. However, respondents’ comments also reflected hope and promise for the future of the non‐profit community in southern Nevada. Based upon our findings, we have provided some suggestions for building sustainable inter‐organizational collaborations at the end of this report.


Economics; Health education; Nonprofit organizations; Public health


Community Health | Economics | Education | Education Policy | Health Policy

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