Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Public Administration


Political Science

Committee Chair

Patrick Scott


nonprofit organization, board composition, board training, education, fundraising ability, strategic planning, perceived organizational effectiveness

Subject Categories

Public Administration


The best practices nonprofit organizational (NPOs) boards are frequently researched. A study of the composition of board membership, board activities and how these factors impact the perceived level of overall organizational effectiveness is not as common. This research investigates what the most appropriate role for a board member to play is as well as how board activities such as fundraising, strategic planning, program delivery, mission achievement and operational budgeting impact the organization. Other components such as the number of hours per week dedicated to board service, the level of board member training, the educational level of board members and the relationship between the board members and organizational staff are also investigated and the impact of these variables measured. The research was conducted through combination of the qualitative case study analysis of four NPOs as well as a quantitative regression analysis of specific variables identified by NPO board members as important to perceived organizational effectiveness. The research includes case study information from three local organizations and one national organization as well as survey information from NPO board members representing 24 different organizations. The research demonstrated NPOs perceived to be very effective, typically involve a well-educated board of directors who are actively involved in organizational fundraising, program delivery and goal setting. The emphasis that the organization placed on strategic planning, education and board / staff relationships proved to be the most statistically significant.


© Kathryn Ellen Hammock

Campus Only