Doing Things Right: Effectiveness in Local Nonprofit Organizations, A Panel Study

Authors

  • Robert D. Herman,

    1. Robert D. Herman is a professor at the L. P. Cookingham Institute of Public Affairs, Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri–Kansas City. His interests center on nonprofit boards, nonprofit executive leadership, and nonprofit organizational effectiveness. E-mail: HermanR@umkc.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David O. Renz

    1. David O. Renz is the Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair of Nonprofit Leadership and director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at the L. P. Cookingham Institute of Public Affairs, Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri–Kansas City. His interests focus on nonprofit organizational leadership and governance. E-mail: RenzD@umkc.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

This study investigates whether nonprofit organizational effectiveness is judged consistently by differing constituencies and whether changes in board effectiveness and overall organizational effectiveness (judged by differing constituencies) are the result of changes in the use of practices regarded as the “right way” to manage. The results show that different constituencies judged the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations differently, at both periods; that a change in the use of correct board practices over time, controlling for board effectiveness at time 1, was not related to board effectiveness at time 2; and that a change in the use of correct management practices, controlling for organizational effectiveness at time 1, was not related to organizational effectiveness at time 2, except for board members. Implications of the results are considered. Claims about best practices for nonprofit boards and organizations must be evaluated more critically. Finding the right fit among practices is more important than doing things the “right way.

Ancillary