Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Administration(DPA)


Public Policy and Administration


Gary Kelsey


This case study explored the perceptions, experiences, and significant internal communication and collaboration problem(s) faced by a rural nonprofit board of directors experiencing a growth transition. Specifically, this study addressed (a) how a rural nonprofit's board members perceived their communication and collaboration skills and practices, and (b) the training needed to improve board communication and collaboration policies and practices. Ten rural area study participants shared their experiences and made recommendations for board communication and collaboration training. Exploring the perceptions, understandings, and capacities of the rural nonprofit board members revealed how specific communication and collaboration policies and practices affected their organization's success. Using the conceptual framework of board governance, data were collected from participant interviews, which were then analyzed and coded using the eclectic coding method. Four themes related to the board's communication and collaboration practices emerged indicating a need for board restructuring and changes in members passion for and commitment to their mission, communication and collaboration skills, and training activities. This study provides information to the rural board members that may enable them to improve their communication and collaboration policies and practices and offers a plan of action to be taken. The findings of this study might bring about social change by adding to the understanding of approaches to improve rural nonprofit board governance effectiveness.