Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Rocky Dwyer


Many nonprofit organizations lack systematic approaches to succession planning. The absence of a strategic succession plan can limit leaders' abilities to maintain organizational sustainability and fulfill the organization's mission. The purpose of this single-case study was to explore strategies nonprofit leaders used to develop succession plans. The conceptual framework for the study was the knowledge transfer theory. Participants included 3 nonprofit leaders from an educational organization in the southeastern United States. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and analysis of internal organizational documents and publicly available data. Using an inductive content analysis, 3 themes emerged: boards of directors were critical to the process of developing a strategic plan for succession; leadership transition, whether planned or unplanned, necessitated preparation; and leadership development was a valued practice that contributed to a succession planning strategy. The results of this study might contribute to positive social change by providing nonprofit leaders with succession strategies to recruit, retain, and prepare leaders to ensure organizational sustainability and mission attainment. Nonprofit educational leaders who develop succession planning strategies can enhance organizational continuity and develop competent volunteers to provide much-needed programs for the communities they serve.