*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Interviews were conducted with the chief executives of 26 Latino nonprofit organizations in the New York Metropolitan Area, a rapidly growing but historically less well funded segment of nonprofits. Data were collected on the executives, board composition, performance before and after the recession, perceptions of the characteristics of the strategic environment, and several dimensions describing organization capabilities.
Results indicated that a dynamic environment was not correlated with perceived organization effectiveness but was associated with change in capabilities. Changes in capabilities were not associated with greater perceived effectiveness, perhaps because more time was required for results to become evident or because not all change is successful. Qualitative data showed the nonprofits that saw themselves as successful viewed change as part of ongoing adaptation to achieve mission (strategic). Less successful organizations described their actions as scaling back to serve the numbers their resources would allow (reactive). Nonprofits using a strategic approach selected boards for their diversity of relevant skills and deliberately engaged wide participation of stakeholders in the decisions.
While the extent varied, there was evidence of strategy. While the process may have appeared emergent, it did address strengths and weakness of the organization’s capabilities in recognition of the changing external opportunities and threats. Furthermore, those nonprofits that were strategic not only enacted the process but also governance practices (i.e., composed boards and consultation with stakeholders) that are associated with strategic innovation in the broader management literature – practices that were themselves surely deliberate.
Additional data are being collected to assess results three years later. These results should be available in time for the conference.