This study examines the effect that bureaucratic attributes and the dual function of the National Urban League (NUL) had on its ability to respond quickly to New Deal programs and legislation. With the exception of its decentralized structure, bureaucratic attributes contributed to the organization's effectiveness. Its structure limited its ability to implement national programs and pressure for national policies. The NUL was unable to make a permanent change in its structure that would be more compatible with its targets. Its dual function, attempting to change individual behavior and societal institutions, helped it maintain a support base without becoming more conservative.