Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


The purpose of this study is to identify the processes actually used by nonprofit organizations in the selection of board members. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 subjects representing 10 human service nonprofit organizations. The data were analyzed in relation to various research questions. Case studies were written which describe the process of board member selection used by each of the organizations. Elements of these selection processes were formulated into a model of the actual processes applied in board member selection. The actual model was then compared to the prescribed model of selection formulated as a result of information encountered in a review of the literature. Results of this study provide a rare glimpse into the actual board member selection processes applied by nonprofit organizations. One, outstanding finding was that nonprofit organizations are not necessarily following the model of board member selection prescribed in the literature. This study indicates that the selection of new board members provides the opportunity for nonprofit organizations to increase their effectiveness. Although filling vacant seats on a board may be difficult, subjects reported that it is more important to find the right board member than to fill a vacant seat By selecting new board members who possess the expertise and characteristics sought the board enhances its ability to advance the mission of the organization successfully into the future.