Exploring Strategies to Sustain Organizational Success: A Case Study of TAPE




Douglas, Larry A.

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Purpose: The lifecycles of nonprofit organizations have been identified and studied for decades. Whether in the idea stage, the terminal stage or somewhere in the middle, each nonprofit organization exists to serve their respective communities. Lifecycle stages alone however do not fully explain the dynamics that impact and influence their existence. Capacity building is an emerging initiative gaining momentum and recognition among nonprofit community leaders for increasing nonprofit success. Nonprofit organizations can increase capacity building strategies to deliver meaningful and community-based programs and services to ensure their survival. This case study explores the organizational maturity and governing board strategies for the Texas Association of Partners in Education (TAPE) through the lens of capacity building strategies. Method: This research project utilizes three working hypotheses (capacity, performance, impact) to develop a preliminary non-profit organizational success assessment framework, derived from Susan Stevens' Continuum of Organizational Success. This framework is used to assess TAPE's organizational maturity. Each working hypothesis produced sub-hypotheses used to explore research expectations. The data collection techniques used in this case study are document analysis, survey questions, and structured interviews. Findings: The overall results indicate that TAPE's organizational maturity and governing board strategies are somewhat strong. The organization has the capacity and ability to sustain operations. Organizational documents revealed TAPE has established a strong foundation for defining and managing its governance infrastructure. However, improvements are required in the following areas: capacity, associated with the delegation of management responsibilities; performance, associated with its advocacy initiatives for industry development and input for public policy; and impact, associated with its competitive advantage to cycle new programs, attract and retain volunteers, and continuously monitor its organizational presence and viability. Conclusion: The organization has refined its strategic efforts to recruit an Executive Director, which should aid governing board members' efforts to delegate responsibilities currently managed at the board level. Governing board members should refine performance strategies and advocate public policies that advance their mission to support educational partnerships. The implementation of these efforts should aid the organization to better assess the organization's impact and ability to deliver, and improve community programs supporting educational partnerships.


An Applied Research Project Submitted to the Department of Political Science, Texas State University-San Marcos, in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Public Administration, Fall 2011.


nonprofit, life cycle, capacity building, organization, performance strategies, sustainability, Public Administration


Douglas, L. A. (2011). Exploring strategies to sustain organizational success: A case study of TAPE. Masters of Public Administration, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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