Marcus Lam

Assistant Professor


Dr. Lam’s scholarly interests include comparative organizational behavior and effectiveness of nonprofit, for-profit, and public providers in the delivery of social, health, and human services.  In particular, he is interested in the financing and revenue structure of nonprofit organizations and how this impacts communities.

Dr. Lam takes a meso and macro level approach and utilizes multilevel and spatial analysis strategies to assess the scope, scale, and variation of nonprofit activity across communities.  His dissertation examined the comparative organizational effectiveness of nonprofit, forprofit, and public providers in the HIV testing field.

Prior to joining the faculty at CUSSW, Dr. Lam served as a senior research associate at the UCLA Center for Civil Society and has published reports on the state of the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, the state of arts and culture funding Los Angles, as well as methodological chapters in the Global Civil Society Yearbook. He has also held fellowship positions with the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Los Angeles Program and EMES European Research Network on social enterprises and the social economy

Research Interests:

•    Nonprofit Finance
•    Capacity and Sustainability of Nonprofit Human Service organizations
•    Social Entrepreneurship
•    Multilevel modeling and spatial analysis

Current Projects:

•    Variation in the Quantity and Quality of Human Service nonprofits and its impact on Communities (Kresge Foundation)
•    Measures of nonprofit financial capacity and sustainability

Selected Publications:

Lam, M., Klein, S. M., Freistheler, B., & Weiss, R. (In Revision) “Childcare Center Closures: Does Nonprofit Status Give Childcare Centers a Comparative Advantage?.” Children and Youth Services Review.

Lam, M., & Grusky, O. (In Revision) “Individual and Organizational Characteristics of Effective Frontline Practitioner Performance: A Study of Los Angeles County HIV Testing Organizations.” Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services.   

McDougle, L. & Lam, M. (Submitted for review) Individual and community level determinants of public attitudes toward nonprofit organizations.  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

Grusky, O., Roberts, K.J., Swanson, A.N., Rhoades, H., & Lam, M. (2009). “Staff strategies for improving HIV detection: Mobile HIV rapid resting.”  Behavioral Medicine, 36(1), 101-111.

Anheier, H.K., Lam, M., & Howard, D.B. (Spring 2013). “Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector: Comparing New York and Los Angeles.” In D. Halle & A. Beveridge (Eds.), New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future.  New York: Oxford University Press.