Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) function in an increasingly turbulent environment where effectiveness and efficiency are important factors to consider for the success of the organization, since NPOs generally have to do more with less. Thus, building a sustainable organization has emerged as a critical factor for the NPO leader. Research suggests that strong project planning processes, such as those in the PMBOK® Guide, can aid nonprofits with this endeavor. However, research is scarce, or minimal at best, and dated (prior to the year 2000) in detailing what the current planning processes and practices are for the NPO sector. Therefore, to further the body of knowledge concerning the application of the project management framework, the focus of this bounded qualitative multiple case study is to examine three human service nonprofit organizations. The goal is to understand what elements of the organization's culture and structure will lead them to adopt a standard methodology, such as the PMBOK ® Guide. This study also begins to fill the gap that exists in the literature concerning what planning processes and practices are currently in use within the nonprofit sector, and how those practices can be standardized to improve the longevity of the organization.
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