Not-for-profit organizations play an important role in society due to their activities and services they provide to meet the needs of citizens. However, they also face multiple challenges and increasing demands from external stakeholder groups. One of these expectations is more professional governance set-up and transparency in their board governance. The research group Multilevel Regulations connects to this issue as part of a joint, interdisciplinary study on not-for-profit boards with the Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs of Leiden University. 

Purpose of the research 

We work with multiple non-governmental and not-for-profit boards who are active in The Hague area to understand how they could professionalize their internal board governance practices. The purpose of the research is to help organizations to identify red flags in their own governance frameworks and to find ways to implement governance best practices on their boards.


The exploratory phase of the research has been conducted in the period of 2021-22 in the form of in-depth interviews with executive directors of large non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations. The current phase of the research (2023-24)  focuses on understanding the gap between the expectations of the sector in terms of good governance and the actual implementation of governance best practices in these organizations. We also organize regular Governance Community of Practice for their Supervisory and Executive Board members to discuss possible solutions to the governance issues their boards are facing. It is an interactive discussion where organizations present the cases and we provide the academic and practitioner background to the discussion.

Collaboration partners

Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs at Leiden University and multiple NGOs from The Hague

Length of the project

September 2023- December 2024

Involved study programs

  • Students of European Studies
  • Students of Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University

Project leader

Dr. Agota Szabo,


  • Prof. Dr. Caelesta Braun, Professor Public Governance & Civil Society at Leiden University
  • Dr. Bert Fraussen, Associate Professor at Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs at Leiden University

If you are interested in our project, please contact us at