Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Hamid H. Kazeroony

Abstract

Nonprofit organizations play an important role in improving their communities. Their ability to meet community needs can be limited due to lack of diversity in their boards of directors, which can also affect equity, performance, and social justice. Procedures for harmonizing the diversity of nonprofit boards with their served community demographics are not well understood. This Delphi study investigated what strategies and practices nonprofit organizations could employ to promote greater diversity in their boards of directors. The study’s conceptual framework was based on the theory of diversity management. Twenty-five participants from various nonprofit boards answered open-ended questions in a 3-round through SurveyMonkey. Secondary data were obtained from each participant’s nonprofits to provide insight into their practices, policies, and records. These documents worked as substantiation for participant claims. Analysis of the data revealed 6 themes: getting to know the community, involving the community, widening the network to include more groups of people, accurate assessment of the community, creating representation and gaining insider perspective, and having a pool of candidates and board members fit for the position. These themes show a diversity-based strategy for the overall success of a nonprofit organization, which is based on how effectively a nonprofit board of directors establishes networks and maintains positive relationships with their served communities. The results of this study can foster positive social change by illustrating how increasing the diversity of a nonprofit board can enhance organizational effectiveness, extend the organization’s reach, enable the organization to serve its chosen communities better, and reduce socioeconomic inequality through new perspectives.

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