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Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The collection consists of the records of the following individuals involved in AVAS/ARNOVA: Delwyn A. Dyer, Thomasina Borkman, Kirsten Gronbjerg, Stephen Wernet, Ram Cnaan, Jon Van Til, and David Mason. These personal records, collected with varying intensity over an extended period of time, were combined to create one institutional archives for ARNOVA.

There are five series: Board Records, Administrative Records, Section Records, Annual Conference Records, and Publications.

Board of Directors Records, 1975-2008, contain the files of the decision-making body of the organization. These materials include minutes, reports, handbooks, strategic planning materials, president’s files, and correspondence. From 1974-1996 the board met once annually during the Annual Conference and on intermittent occasions as specific needs arose. Beginning in 1997 a d spring retreat was formally added to the board’s meeting schedule. Board meeting information in the collection begins in 1975 and continues through 2005. Meeting information includes minutes and attachments containing reports, financial data, proposals, and strategic planning materials. While some meeting minutes only exist in hand-written form, only minutes from the 1981 meeting are completely missing.

The second portion of this series includes files from the organization’s committees. With the exception of the membership committee, most of the committee records do not begin until the 1990s. The committee files include reports, correspondence, and minutes. Since most committees made regular reports to the board of directors, many committee reports prior to 1990 can be found in the board meeting attachments. Information about the publications committee from 1980-1983 is located in Jon Van Til’s editor files.

This series also contains the presidential files of Jon Van Til, AVAS president 1977/79, and Thomasina Borkman, ARNOVA president 1990/92. These files contain correspondence, meeting notes, reports, articles, and grant information. Borkman’s files include correspondence during the time of ARNOVA’s restructuring and correspondence regarding the creation of a health section during the 1970s. Van Til’s files cover a crucial time in the history of ARNOVA and include information regarding grant projects with the Alliance for Voluntarism. Also included in these files are board correspondence and other materials related to the strategic planning efforts of the late 1970s and the efforts to maintain the organization’s financial solvency.

While the strategic planning documents encompass much of the organization’s history, the bulk of the material covers the major strategic initiatives of the early 1990s including the two planning retreats held in Corpus Christi, Texas and David Mason’s ranch. The materials included are planning documents, correspondence, notes, and articles related to the development of ARNOVA’s strategic plan.

Administrative Records, 1970-2009 include files from the executive offices of ARNOVA. These materials consist of correspondence, the AVAS proposal, the articles of incorporation and by-laws, financial documents, grant information, and brochures.

Information related to the organization’s affiliation includes correspondence, reports, and paper abstracts. Because of ARNOVA’s support for international research, its involvement in the creation of the International Society for Third Sector Research is documented through correspondence, reports, and abstracts from the 1992 international conference.

The financial records in the collection include annual financial reports and Form 990 tax filings. Because there are gaps in the collection, researchers may want to consult the board minutes or Jon Van Til’s presidential files.

The grant files begin in 1994 and include grants related to funding strategic goals, operating expenses, and special projects. These files include proposals, grant reports, correspondence, evaluations, and financial reports. Information about Alliance for Voluntarism grants during the 1970s is found in Jon Van Til’s presidential files.

Membership information in the collection consists mainly of brochures, directories, and new member packets. Early directories were handwritten or types, while later ones were published. There are no directories for 1976-1983, 1985-1988, and 1995. During the 1970s and early 1980s, membership lists were also printed in the AVAS Newsletter.

Section Records, 1998-2009, include information about the creation, governance, and activities of ARNOVA Sections. The general information files include correspondence and reports related to the organization’s decision to create sections and the steps leading to the decision. Further information about the creation of sections can be found in the board minutes and attachments. Records from four of the ARNOVA sections (Community and Grassroots Associations; Teaching; Theories, Issues, and Boundaries; and Values, Religion, Altruism, and Drawbacks) are located online in the ARNOVA eArchives ( and include section proposals, minutes, bylaws, and reports.

Annual Conference Records, 1974-2007, contain brochures, policies, and publications related to the Annual ARNOVA Conference. Between 1974 and 1984 the conference materials consisted mainly of programs and agendas. Beginning in 1985 ARNOVA began publishing conference proceedings containing papers and abstracts from the conference. The collection contains all the proceedings through 2001 when ARNOVA ceased producing them in printed form. In 2002 ARNOVA made the information previously contained in the proceedings available online. Conference abstracts form 2002-2005 are available online in ARNOVA eArchives. Select conference papers were also published in an annual special issue of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Further information about the conferences, including summaries and outcomes, can be found in the newsletters located in the publication records.

Publication Records, 1971-2010, consist of the publication of ARNOVA and the files of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Publications include annual reports, abstracts, newsletters, a journal, and occasional papers.

ARNOVA Abstracts were published first as a supplement to the AVAS Newsletter and, beginning in 1974, as a separate publication entitled ARNOVA News was first published in 1973 and called the AVAS Newsletter. This publication highlighted news within the organization and items of interest to the nonprofit community. This is a good place for information about ARNOVA events, members, and the community of scholars. The collection contains an incomplete set of the newsletters from 1973-2005.

The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, originally called the Journal of Voluntary Action, was published four times a year (occasionally in combined issues) until 2009 when its frequency changed to six times a year. Materials related to the journal include editor’s files, journal manuscript files, and the journal itself. Jon Van Til served as journal editor from 1979-1991. His files include correspondence, reports, and financial information. Because of his long involvement during the early history of the journal, these files are a good resource fro tracing the journal’s early history.

The manuscript files consist of three manuscript types: accepted, rejected, and revise and resubmit. Files from each of these include revisions of articles, decision correspondence, and peer review reports. The accepted manuscripts are arranged by issue. Rejected manuscripts are arranged alphabetically from 1979-1991 and by date between 1991 and 1995. Beginning in 1995 all manuscripts were assigned a number and rejected manuscripts from 1995-2007 are arranged by that numerical assignment. Revise and resubmit manuscripts were filed separately for a brief period of time (2000-2003) and are arranged by numerical assignments like the rejected manuscripts.


  • 1971 - 2010

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The bulk of the collection is open to the public without restriction. Records of the journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly are fully restricted for 10 years from the date of creation. After the expiration of the 10-year restriction, researchers must sign an agreement not to use the names of authors who submitted articles or reviews as a condition of access.

Search Committee and Award Nomination Files and other files marked "confidential" by the ARNOVA President or Executive Director will be closed to researchers for twenty years from date of creation unless researchers receive written permission to use them from ARNOVA.


From the Collection: 51.4 Cubic Feet (49 record cartons, 1 document box, 5 pamphlet boxes, 3 flat boxes, and 1 cassette box)


Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA