Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Toni Pauls, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rob Simpson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Robert Lopez, Ed.D.

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Nonprofit leaders are competing for limited resources; Boards of Directors who achieve their financial goals and social missions are standing in the winners’ circle. However, small-to-midsize nonprofits struggle to profit from the social enterprise activity which promises to be a solution for dwindling budgets and program sustainability. Even more important, small-to-midsize nonprofits with annual revenue between $25,000 and $250,000, and that do not have a paid staff dedicated to earned income opportunities must retool to reap financial rewards. The study examined the impact that entrepreneurial behaviors had on operating successful nonprofit social enterprises to attract financial resources. The objective of the study was to determine whether non-entrepreneurial leaders (who do not have business experience), who operate small-to-midsized nonprofits can successfully incorporate social enterprise activities into their nonprofit agencies to enhance organizational performance. The review of the literature revealed that there is some evidence that nonprofit entrepreneurial leaders may demonstrate greater resiliency in adverse economic conditions over traditional nonprofit leaders. A comparative exploratory case study methodology based on qualitative research was used in this dissertation. Additionally, an inclusion of quantitative methodology served to supplement and complement the core qualitative study. The findings from the study showed that there were no significant differences between Boards of Directors' entrepreneurial behaviors that will enhance the likelihood of operating a successful social enterprise into a small-to-midsize nonprofit agency to attract financial resources. However, the social enterprise nonprofit showed higher means' scores overall on the Entrepreneurial Orientation and Board Behavioral Orientation Scales compared to the ordinary nonprofit.

Key Findings

here is no significant difference between BODs earned-income opportunity behaviors that will enhance the likelihood of operating a successful SME to attract financial resources. Social Entrepreneurs who lead SME Nonprofits with no paid staff and annual revenue below $250,000 show higher means scores on the entrepreneurial orientation scale and the board behavior orientation scale compared to ordinary nonprofit leaders. SME nonprofits are likely to view the need for aggressive and formal pursuit of income as necessary in the future, but currently they are informally pursuing income. SME nonprofits with resource constraints must balance conservative leadership practices with riskier investments to reap greater financial rewards.


Cohort start date July 8, 2019.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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Professional Biography

My research interest is social entrepreneurial leadership in a nonprofit setting. I have 20 years of nonprofit board work and volunterism. I founded a consulting firm that provides consulting services to nonprofits in the areas of budgeting, board development, and fundraising. Currently, I teach finance and budgeting for public administrators, and intergovernmental relations courses to undergraduate students in the school of business and technology at the University of Arizona. I have an undergraduate degree in business administration. I earned two masters' degrees in business administration and public administration. I earned a doctorate degree in education. Recently, I was a panelist at the University of New Cairo, Egypt hosted by the American Society of Public Administrations Section on African Public Administration on the topic titled Participatory Budgeting: A prerequisite for sustainable development projects.