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Public Policy and Administration


Steven A. Matarelli


Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are essential for implementing U.S. health promotion policies such as the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition and Weight Status 9, 10.4, and 15.1 program goals. Obtaining and sustaining NPO funding are pervasive problems. Prior research has focused primarily on NPO financial measures without taking into consideration a conjoint assessment of program outcomes connected to their primary mission. This study examined the influence of financial, accountability, and transparency measures on a selection of California NPOs whose program goals focused on Healthy People 2020 nutritional outcomes. Using Mohr’s program theory lens, this quantitative study examined financial strategies and administrative components of 63 California NPOs and numbers of participants served, controlling for income, ethnicity, and urbanicity. Data from Charity Navigator, NPOs’ Form 990 filings, websites, annual reports, and direct communications were used for regression modeling. NPOs’ financial measures significantly predicted the numbers of participants served (F (1, 61) = 5.54, p = .022). Accountability and transparency and community covariates were not significant in model testing. Potential social change can be achieved through improved NPO fiscal management, complete Form 990 reporting, evaluation, and policies to address persistent funding challenges while employing operational safeguards preserving limited funding resources essential to sustaining program outcomes.