Does being religious or not matter? A qualitative investigation of community fundraising events


Journal of Enterprising Communities, vol.18, no.2, pp.265-287, 2024 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/jec-10-2022-0167
  • Journal Name: Journal of Enterprising Communities
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, INSPEC
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-287
  • Keywords: Charity, Community fundraising, Helping, Philanthropy
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: In the extant literature, the concepts of charity and philanthropy have been differentiated based on the belief that charity stems from religious motivations and philanthropy is often secular in origin. Accordingly, this paper aims to investigate whether there is a distinction between managerial practices regarding the given concepts as emphasized in the conceptual discussions. Design/methodology/approach: To see the managerial practices, the authors determined bazaars, community fundraising events organized by nonprofit organizations (NPOs), as the research field. Then, this study followed the general systematic of qualitative research. Accordingly, the authors conducted 44 interviews with experienced bazaar organizers from 10 NPOs in total. Furthermore, four days of participant observation with field notes were made in each bazaar, which lasted from 7 to 10 days. This study also used archival data as a secondary data source and then analyzed all data with a content analysis technique. Findings: This study found that the field practices mainly do not support the distinction drawn over the conceptual discussions. Both concepts are nouns describing the act of giving and helping the needy. They are actively performed based on different motives (religion-based and secular). Originality/value: The relevant distinction is limited to the conceptual discussions and has not been supported by the findings obtained from the field. Also, most of the studies on helping were carried out in the Western context. Studies conducted outside these cultures are quite limited. The value of the current study lies in the fact that it was conducted in a cultural context different from the Western cultures and paves the pathway for future research.