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RGK- ARNOVA President’s Award

Monday, November 28, 2016   (0 Comments)
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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

presents the


RGK- ARNOVA President’s Award



Kelly LeRoux



Kelly LeRoux was the committee’s unanimous choice for the RGK-ANROVA President’s Award.  Dr. LeRoux addresses one of the most important issues facing the nonprofit sector, how to make nonprofit social service organizations representative of the clients and communities they serve.  Her research questions are: is racial diversity on nonprofit boards related to nonprofit performance, e.g., percent changes in assets and revenues, and, if so, how and why.  She already has quantitative data on 256 nonprofits to answer her first question.  This fall she will conduct in-depth interviews with the executive directors and board chairs of approximately a dozen nonprofit organizations in Chicago and Detroit to answer her second question.


Dr. LeRoux draws heavily on complexity theory.  Put simply, nonprofits face environments which are very complex and solutions to problems are not always clear.  She talks about the problem of ‘requisite variety’ and how adaptation will fail when the variety in the system to be managed exceeds the variety in the people who must regulate it.  This is because the people, and I quote, “miss important information, their diagnoses are incomplete and their remedies are short-sighted and can magnify rather than reduce a problem.”  Subsequently more diverse nonprofit boards should contain enough variety to cope with system complexity and perform better than more homogeneous boards.  


The committee congratulates Dr. LeRoux on an excellent proposal and looks forward to hearing about her findings next year. 



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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life.

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