Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones


The nonprofit sector plays an intricate role in today’s economy and communities nationwide. Nonprofits employ over 12 million people in the United States and provide over $800 million in salaries and benefits, which equates to adding $1 trillion to the national economy. These contributions affirm the necessity for nonprofit existence. There is a sense of urgency to address this problem, as nonprofit dissolution has been increasing steadily since the pandemic began and spiked 30% during January 2022 compared to January 2021 (Delaney & O’Leary, 2022). “While competition amongst and the resulting exit of for-profit businesses have been studied, the exit of nonprofit organizations has been less studied and is not well understood, research is fragmented and sparse” (Yurenka, 2009, p. 1). The research gap led me to engage in this study and to seek an answer to my hypothesis, “Can strategic planning decrease nonprofit dissolutions and increase long-term sustainability for startup nonprofits?” A mixed methods approach using a sequential explanatory design was used to examine if strategic planning was a viable option for startup nonprofits to incorporate as a practice to achieve long-term sustainability. A startup nonprofit located in the southeastern region of the United States was the study site for this dissertation. The findings revealed that strategic planning is a viable option that can increase the possibility of startup nonprofits attaining longevity. The findings also identified the importance of human capital, organizational readiness, and board selection and development as crucial elements to successfully implement the strategic planning process cycle.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License