Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


This dissertation examined how leadership and organizational factors influence nonprofit board diversity. The goal of the research was to expand the data available in the social service sector associated with understanding the role of board member diversity within nonprofit organizations. Utilizing data from BoardSource’s Leading with Intent (2017) dataset, which included responses from 1,378 nonprofit Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), board racial, gender, and total diversity, along with several organizational factors, were included for descriptive and inferential analysis. Organizational factors included CEO racial and gender demographics, organization type, geographical location, revenue, personal contribution of board members, CEO perception of mission and board diversity. Quantitative analysis included the use of ANOVAs, chi-squares, and logistic regressions to explore the relationships that existed between organizational characteristics and board racial, gender, and total diversity. Findings identified that significant positive relationships existed between racially diverse boards and CEO perception of board diversity and organizational mission, organizations with revenues of $1 million to $4.9 million and $ million to $9.9 million, and organizations with women CEOs. Significant positive relationships were also noted between organizations with women CEOs and board gender and total diversity. Significant negative relationships were noted between board racial diversity and organizations that are foundations, organizations that require a personal contribution of board members, and non-White CEOs. Implications included review of organizational theories, board governance theories, and social justice theories, as well as for social work practice and social work education.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Social Work Commons