Nonprofit Organization, Board of Directors, Effectiveness, Financial Vulnerability, Funding Source


Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on their governing board of directors to provide leadership, strategic guidance, and financial oversight. The nonprofit community continues to grow, and the services provided by these organizations have become a critical part of our society, providing a wide variety of services targeting a diverse population. In this context, how the role of the board of directors impacts the financial position of the nonprofit organization is of great interest to both the academic community and the practitioner. This study examined three areas of interest: board effectiveness, funding source, and financial vulnerability. First, the association between board effectiveness and financial vulnerability was tested. Second, specific board behaviors associated with strategic planning and stakeholder management were tested to determine if they were greater predictors of financial vulnerability. Finally, the role of funding source (specifically privately funded organizations) as a moderating variable for board effectiveness and financial vulnerability was explored. The sample was composed of 112 participants, consisting of board member/executive director survey responses and financial information for the participating organizations. The sample was drawn from six counties in the Central Florida area. Data were collected from a series of mailings, and surveys were distributed at nonprofit lecture series. The Financial Vulnerability Index (FVI) was used as a measure of the financial condition of the nonprofit organization and represented the dependent variable in this study. The Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire (BSAQ) was used to assess board effectiveness and represented the independent variable in this study. Primary funding source was identified as a moderating variable, while board size, age of the organization, CEO tenure, service area, United Way affiliation, national affiliation were included as control variables. Board effectiveness as measured by the BSAQ was a significant predictor of financial vulnerability as measured by the FVI. The strategic and stakeholder behaviors associated with board effectiveness were not found to be significant predictors of financial vulnerability, beyond other behaviors associated with board effectiveness. Funding source was shown to moderate the observed relationship between board effectiveness and financial vulnerability, as the association between effectiveness and financial condition was significant in privately funded nonprofit organizations (no such significance was identified in government funded or commercially funded organizations).


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Graduation Date





Martin, Lawrence


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)