Governments contract with human service nonprofits to provide services in complex environments (Frahm & Martin, 2009). This article builds on the robust literature of public contracting for human services, but considers the effect of contracting on the contractor rather than the government. Using the National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants, conducted during the financial recession, we consider how contracting practices are harming trust. We find that human service nonprofits are more likely to cut salaries and jobs due to having government contracts, leading one to question whether the partnership mode of contracting will remain effective.
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