Entrepreneurial Leadership and Financial Stability in Nonprofit Organizations

Carolyn Regennia Mattocks, Walden University


Nonprofit organizations across the United States have experienced a deterioration of grant funding, which in turn has led to a deterioration of the funding relationship between federal grant making agencies and nonprofit organizations. The National Council of Nonprofits identified that the leadership style of the executives may impact organizational performance, including garnering financial stability through grant making. This relationship, however, is not explored in the academic literature. Using Dees' theory of the enterprising nonprofit as a foundation, this case study explored whether entrepreneurial leadership at Rising Tide Capital (RTC) in Jersey City, New Jersey is perceived by leaders and employees as impacting financial stability. Data were collected through interviews with a purposive sample of 7 executives and employees of RTC who exercised or observed entrepreneurial leadership. Interview data were inductively coded and then analyzed using a thematic analysis procedure. Key findings indicate that employees perceive that entrepreneurial leadership has a positive effect on acquiring grants. Further, Dees' theory of the enterprising nonprofit was largely supported by the results of this study with one key exception. Dees' theory focuses on generating income; the results of this study point to the idea that while revenue is important, so is the mission of the organization, and as such, participants perceived that financial sustainability operates hand in hand with organizational mission. The positive social change implications of this study include recommendations to RTC leadership to engage in long range strategic planning that emphasizes diverse revenue generation to include identifying ways to marry income with organizational mission.