Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Administration and Policy

First Advisor

Edmund Stazyk


The potential benefits of diversity in board members are increasingly recognized in both diversity and public administration literature, in that the innovative ideas and diverse perspectives of board members may translate into business-related gains for the organization. Following a literature review and theories that discuss diversity on boards, the paper uses financial data from two nonprofit organizations in order to test the assertion that nonprofits with more diverse boards will show signs of greater organizational effectiveness. Results from several comparison ratios show a lower level of donations, but greater operating, fundraising, and programming efficiency, in a nonprofit with a more diverse board. Despite a limited sample size, findings suggest that the insights and perspectives that diverse nonprofit board members bring may allow them to think and plan strategically, and in doing so govern more efficiently towards the social purpose of their organization’s mission.