Does the Structure and Composition of the Board Matter? The Case of Nonprofit Organizations

O'Regan, K.
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 21, No.1, Spring

This article discusses some of the key differences in board behavior between nonprofit organizations and for-profit firms using a relatively new dataset from New York City nonprofits. We provide evidence on the broader role that nonprofit boards play for their organizations and then give some suggestive results on the relationship between board structure and composition, and individual board member performance. The results provide some evidence that the executive directors of nonprofits may use their power to push boards toward fundraising in place of monitoring activity. Using a fixed-effects framework, we also find no systematic relationship between board personal demographics and performance, although both tenure on a board and multiple board service do seem to matter.

Wagner Faculty