Building on prior studies analyzing institutional logics within and among organizations, I first investigate large nonprofit organizations in Boston, Massachusetts, to determine the logics held by these organizations, how the logics drive organizational behavior when faced with payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTs), and the strategies they implement as they recompose their position in the field. Using nonprofit community benefit reports, news and trade publications, and data from the Boston PILOT Program, I explore the development of organizational activities and how they use a combination of market and community logics to construct themselves as charitable. Nonprofit pursuit of creating and maintaining a strong civil society may entail earning their tax exemption by engaging in a quid pro quo relationship with government. Further, I explore the strategies implemented to determine if organizations use PILOTs to promote their organizational goals or circumvent regulatory requirements. In the second study, I investigate the revised Boston PILOT Program voluntary payment effects on nonprofit healthcare organization community benefit contributions. Recent studies of these organizations' contributions have focused less on the financial assistance and more on social benefit. This study builds on these prior efforts by fine tuning the analysis to include specific, socially beneficial community benefits as well as the underlying motivations for these allocations. Using publicly available data, I develop a model to determine the financial effects of revenue sources and PILOT contributions on community benefit spending. Results show PILOTs have a significant influence on allocations for community benefit, but not financial assistance, and contrary to expectations, revenue sources do not significantly influence PILOT participation. Finally, findings show when specifically analyzing contributions and donations, the need for organizational legitimacy to protect tax-exemption will drive organizations to make PILOTs; however, those organizations embedded in a community logic will reject these payments in favor of funding community building.


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Graduation Date





Roberts, Robin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration

Degree Program

Business Administration; Accounting




CFE0008906; DP0026185





Release Date

December 2024

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2024; it will then be open access.