Date of Award

Summer 7-31-2020

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Lisbeth Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Devore

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Enomoto


Purpose: This study had the ultimate purpose and research questions to synthesize findings from a panel of expert C-suite executives representing regional nonprofit organization (NPO) homeless service providers from two regions in the state of California about their perception of essential risk mitigation practices that increase the likelihood of the agency’s overall capacity to sustain homeless population services through a five-year period of operations. In addition, the exploration examined those risk-mitigation practices identified as most important to the organization’s sustainability and with the greatest likelihood of being implemented by NPOs that serve the homeless population.

Methodology: Using a Delphi design, the researcher developed three rounds of questions beginning in Round 1 with an open-ended question, Round 2 with a ranking question, and Round 3 with a Likert scale to achieve consensus from the panel about essential risk mitigation practices.

Findings: Through the data collection process, the researcher was able to identify 14 themes for risk mitigation practices among California NPO C-suite executives from two regions in California within Round 1. In Round 2 the researcher was able to identify what the expert panelists perceived as five practices considered essential risk mitigation practices for NPO’s to be sustainable. In the final round, the panelists came to consensus about those five practices that were most likely to be implemented.

Conclusion: The findings from this research identified practical information that may aid NPOs in the area of using risk management practices for program planning and long-term sustainability of NPO services for the homeless and may spawn future exploration to identify industry standards for the field.

Recommendations: It was recommended to continue to explore NPOs use of risk management practices on a national level and utilize the federal government and/or funders to drive the charge to standardize core practices across NPOs.