The Nonprofit Entity – Strategies to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness A Case Study with Special Olympics Southern California

Date of Award


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First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


Nonprofit organizations (NPO) serve a vital role in today’s society, bridging the gap between the government and the private sector. In many ways NPOs are considered to be a safety net for a vibrant democratic society. Thus NPO have to maintain cutting edge strategies to be efficient and effective with the limited dollars they receive. What business strategies demonstrate to be most effective in a nonprofit world? I arrive at this research question due to my recent fieldwork experience with a well-known NPO, The Special Olympics. This organization is recognized for its global movement in creating a world of community and acceptance. From this study I will be able to conduct participant observation of their programs and services and further analyze the strategies that the Special Olympics utilizes most effectively. I also reached out to other NPO like Miracles for Kids, and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to participate in an online survey via survey monkey. The survey was created based on the key elements of organizational effectiveness that was found to be consistent in previous literature done on this topic. Referring to key elements of effectiveness, the literature reviewed has shown evaluations as a consistent component of ensuring quality programs and services for NPOs. During my time spent with The Special Olympics I was able to observe the evaluation process first hand and was assigned as the evaluation lead for their 2013 Fall Games held in Fountain Valley, CA. In addition to online survey distributed to multiple NPOs, I also assisted in distributing a formatted evaluation survey for various participants of the 2013 Special Olympics Fall Games two-day event and transcribing the responses into a well-written report. This report is presented in this study as evidence of effectiveness for further analysis.


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