Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Norma Noonan


Nonprofits have become more important in recent decades: almost two million American charities provide important and diverse services. How they function under the leadership of nonprofit boards of directors has not been studied to the extent that corporate boards have. Some nonprofit boards do not offer new member training or an orientation to board service, which may leave some board members underprepared to lead. Do nonprofit boards that get training improve themselves and the functioning of their associated nonprofit agency? Using a review of academic literafure, personal experience working for nonprofits and serving on nonprofit boards, interviews with a board president, two executive directors and a focus group of board members, qualitative data was gathered to gain understanding about the need for and impact of board training. As a part of this action research project, a board training was developed to meet needs of small nonprofits wishing to become more effective.


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