Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Robert B. Archibald

Committee Members

Monica D. Griffin

Melissa McInerney


Today, 89% of American households contribute to charities with 8,941 nonprofit organizations in Virginia alone. With the nonprofit sector continuing to grow, funders seek was to identify the best nonprofit. Overhead ratio, the fraction of total expenditures spent on non-programmatic costs, is a common measure of success because of the abundance of financial data and commonality between organizations. Many nonprofit supporters claim that overhead ratio as a metric is inherently flawed largely because investment in infrastructure is necessary for success. I examined the success of nonprofit organizations throughout Virginia and North Caroline and contrast that with their overhead ratio and related financial metrics. I evaluated the relationship between overhead ratio and more holistic measures of success to help guide future evaluations of nonprofit organizations, finding positive, diminishing returns to administrative investment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only