Governance Issues in Nonprofit Organizations - An Exploratory Study
Meyer, Julia C, 1997--
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Nonprofit organizations are a great asset to our society, providing essential services to communities around the world. The nonprofit sector is varied, complex, and ever-changing, and few individuals truly understand it. I have a personal interest in nonprofit organizations, and for my senior capstone project, I wanted to conduct an exploratory study that would look at the governance aspects of nonprofit organizations. I developed a set of assumptions based on my own understanding of governance concepts and my personal experience with nonprofit organizations. In order to explore and test my assumptions, I conducted a set of interviews with local nonprofit experts, the outcome of which was later used to develop a survey. The survey, which would be distributed to nonprofit organizations in the DeKalb/Sycamore area, was designed to measure which governance factors organizations placed the most importance on, as well as the factors organizations deemed to be least important. The overall research objective was to explore factors relating to nonprofit governance, and how these factors may shape an organization’s Board of Directors. While some of the information I gathered was consistent with my prior assumptions, I learned that there were a great deal of other factors that influenced the makeup of a nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors, including the organization’s maturity, complexity, program needs, and its revenue portfolio. However, due to the unusual circumstances in the latter half of the Spring 2020 semester, I was unable to send out my survey. Instead, I created a small database which I used to gather available online data from nonprofit organizations to better understand the board makeup of some organizations within the community. Based on this information, I concluded that organization size is not the driving factor in board makeup, but it should still be considered for future research projects and analysis.