From Home to Heaven: The Spatial Imaginaries of Nonprofit Organizations

Dominik Karner*, Florentine Maier, Michael Meyer

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


We investigate how nonprofit organizations (NPOs) construct imaginaries of their premises, their local environment, and beyond. Based on a qualitative analysis of the websites of 209 randomly sampled NPOs in a metropolitan region in Central Europe, we find four distinct spatial imaginaries: (1) The world polity imaginary constructs NPOs as a part of a spatial environment that is neatly divided into nation states, supranational structures, and subnational units. (2) In the world society imaginary, NPOs are active in blurred, fluid, and overlapping spaces such as networks, commercialized spaces, or natural habitats. (3) In a religious imaginary, the material world is complemented by a transcendental realm and categorized into spaces of the sacred and the evil. (4) Finally, in a lococentric imaginary, NPOs construct a dichotomy between "home" and the alien rest of the world. Each of these spatial imaginaries conveys distinctive ways of situating the organization in their spatial environment and implies specific organizational practices and emotional enchantments of space.
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung - Sept. 2023