Date of Award

Winter 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Amanda Olejarski, Ph.D

Committee Member

Allison Turner, Ph.D

Committee Member

Francis Atuahene, Ph.D


This research examines the community needs of a specific region, Northwestern Pennsylvania, in order to determine how well the community’s current social needs are being addressed by nonprofit organizations in this area. A comprehensive review of related literature is provided in order to establish a theoretical framework for this topic. This background is utilized in the development and execution of a community needs assessment for the Northwest Pennsylvania region. This assessment, presented in the form of an online survey, resulted in 714 unique responses within the selected region. Quantitative and qualitative methods are applied to the gathered data in order to uncover the unmet needs of the region and clarify how they can be better served by nonprofit organizations. The research investigates the benefits of implementing needs assessment tools that would provide a consistent standard upon which to base administrative decisions. As a result of this study, the research indicates areas for improvement within this region and the importance of the views of local citizens and experts within the nonprofit community.