Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Julia Hadden, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Douglas DeVore, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

James V. Liberty, Ph.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to identify and describe how nonprofit organization youth leaders perceive the importance of transformational leadership qualities in mentoring youth in leadership programs based on Bass and Riggio’s (2006) four transformational leadership qualities.

Methodology: This mixed-methods study examined the experiences of nonprofit organizations’ youth program leaders and examined the presence of transformational leadership qualities in their approach to providing program leadership to youth programs. An explanatory sequential study was utilized as it allowed the researcher to first analyze quantitative data, then follow with collection of qualitative data.

Findings: The findings showed respondents had passion for the work, utilized mentorship models, created student satisfaction, engaged families, and were equitable. Two unexpected findings were: one survey would be best utilized for analyzing adult relationships, not for use with a teacher and student relationship if the students are minors, and that qualitative data collection and analysis of all participants demonstrated a clear and driven commitment to fostering life skills in students.

Conclusion: Leaders of nonprofit youth programs are practitioners of transformational leadership. These themes of transformational leadership were consistently and strongly present: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Recommendations for further research include narrowing the study scope, changing data collection, replication study criterion changes, and expanding the study to include participants or their families.

The most critical impact of this study may be to conclude these leaders had the best opportunity to inspire incoming generations to pursue leadership roles that will outnumber them. The demand for leadership will outstrip supply. Emerging transformational leaders will bring hope for many nonprofits to survive. Transformational leadership is key to their survivability, encouraging and inspiring a new generation of volunteers to continue to creatively and impactfully deliver critical services to communities.