Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Theresa L Pulos


Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) represent a fast-growing industry with significant value in today’s society. NPOs are filling gaps in providing services the government can no longer deliver and are considered an economic industry worth billions of dollars. As evidenced in research, NPOs are facing a multitude of challenges. Still, most of these challenges are addressed as standalone issues. Research has provided tools and suggestions for how leadership can address singular challenges; however, few researchers have examined challenges broadly. It has been confirmed that organizational leadership needs to understand, from a leader’s perspective, the challenges of the organization so that efforts can be developed to solve critical issues. For NPOs to be able to solve problems, they need to develop a deeper understanding of their challenges. In this qualitative descriptive study, the intention was to add to the body of knowledge on NPO and leadership challenges and organizational effectiveness by examining what leaders do to lead Programs well. The goal was to gain a deeper understanding from the perspective of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) 4-H Program Leaders of the current state of the New York 4-H Program, which broad collective challenges exist within that program, and how programs are led well. This topic was explored through open-ended inquiry utilizing a theoretical framework of Organizational Effectiveness (OE). Implications, recommendations, and suggestions for future research relate directly to CCE guiding documents and past organizational research.

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