Date of Conferral







Dr. David Banner


Although 75% of United States nonprofit leaders planned to vacate their leadership positions in 2013, 77% of nonprofit organizations, including faith-based nonprofits, operated without succession plans. Grounded by the frameworks of Charan, Drotter, and Noel’s leadership pipeline and Vroom’s expectancy, the purpose of this comparative case study was to compare effective succession planning strategies of faith-based nonprofit leaders in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The research questions addressed the succession planning strategies of faith-based nonprofit leaders. Data collection and triangulation included semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews of purposeful snowball samples of six participants in each of two organizations. Data analysis was by means of the constant comparative method, which enabled the identification of emerging themes for each of the two nonprofits. Microsoft Excel facilitated the organization and analysis of interview data. Three common themes emerged from the data analysis of Organization A in Maryland and Organization B in Pennsylvania, respectively, as effective succession planning strategies to enable achievement of organizational goals and mission. The three common themes were human capital investment, trust in and empowerment of potential leaders, and leadership pipeline talent retention. Implications for positive social change include the potential for greater social responsibility, enhanced social capital, and advancement of beneficial community partnerships as a result of knowledge gained from the study.