Nonprofit Governance as Succession Planning

James K. Agbodzakey, Felix Kumah-Abiwu, Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson


Nonprofit governance is considered to be the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations regardless of size and operational locale. Whether in developed and/or developing economies, local, state and national levels, governance of nonprofit organizations enables provision of essential complementary services to the state to foster governance of peoples’ affairs. The essential role of the nonprofit sector has renewed scholarly attention on governance of nonprofit organizations, especially, the governance-related roles of nonprofit board of directors. This paper highlights the important role of nonprofit governance for nonprofit organizations’ success by framing nonprofit governance as succession planning with emphasis on the critical role that human resources play in realizing the intents and purposes of nonprofit organizations. The authors buttress their argument by integrating the extant literature on nonprofit governance with a conceptual model that relates various nonprofit governance roles and show the inextricable connectedness and interconnectedness to succession planning. The authors conclude by advancing the argument that nonprofit governance is not only about leadership at the moment, but also promotes succession for beneficial outcomes for organization and society with human resources at the core which translates into organizational effectiveness and service to the community.

Keywords: nonprofit governance, succession planning, governance, board of directors, governing board, working board.

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