Indiana Nonprofit Surveys

Indiana Nonprofit Surveys

The Indiana Nonprofits Project has issued a number of surveys to assess the nonprofit sector. With the help of the Center for Survey Research (CSR) at Indiana University, we have commissioned two comprehensive surveys of the nonprofit sector in 2002 and 2017 as well as two surveys of nonprofit capacity in 2007 and 2010. We have also conducted a number of smaller surveys of individuals to assess personal nonprofit affiliation and perceived nonprofit trustworthiness

Read more about each nonprofit survey below.

Current Survey

Our third survey of Indiana nonprofits was conducted in 2017 and completed by more than 1,000 Indiana nonprofits of all types - charities, congregations, advocacy nonprofits, membership associations, etc. This survey included questions similar to those on the 2002 survey, but with additional in-depth questions about information technology, government policies, and other challenges. We are now analyzing the results of the survey and reports will be posted here as soon as they become available.

This survey was invitation-only and was sent by email or mail. We are grateful to our participants. We know your time is valuable, but your participation in our survey will help us present data to help state and local leaders determine how best to support and strengthen the Indiana nonprofit sector.

Read our newest publication in Series Two, Activities Reports: Indiana Nonprofits: Information Technology Resources & Challenges.

Indiana Arts and Culture Nonprofits: Overview and Challenges (Fall 2018)

The Indianapolis Nonprofit Sector: Overview and Challenges (Summer 2018)

Indiana Nonprofits: Information Technology Resources & Challenges (Spring 2019)

What challenges are Indiana nonprofits facing today? How are they dealing with information technology, government policies, and other changes coming their way? How do these patterns vary by field of activity, size, or funding profile?

The survey is part of the multi-year Indiana Nonprofits Project: Scope and Community Dimensions, which has documented the many important ways in which Indiana nonprofits contribute to the state and local communities. The project aims to help state and local leaders determine how best to support and strengthen Indiana nonprofits. 

All publicly available sources of information about nonprofit organizations exclude large segments of the nonprofit sector and contain very limited information. We have therefore developed a survey to provide important benchmark information about the Indiana nonprofit sector and allow for a more indepth understanding of the important contributions Indiana nonprofits make to the state and local communities.

Asked of all Respondents:

  • General information: Includes questions on year of establishment, tax status, formal affiliations (by type of organization), and grant-making status.
  • Nonprofit programs and services: Includes questions on most important programs/activities, changes in demands for services/programs, social services and community development efforts.
  • Organizational structure and program evaluation: Includes questions on what types of organizational features are in place, management challenges, impact of public policy changes, program and planning challenges, and program evaluations.
  • Human resources: Includes questions on whether there is a board of director, size of board and number of vacancies, board selection process, board challenges, and board resources; questions on whether the organization uses volunteers, numbers of volunteers, importance of volunteers, volunteer challenges, and volunteer resources; full-time and part-time paid staff, if there is a paid executive director, employee management challenges and employee resources.
  • Marketing and technology: Includes questions on marketing challenges, use of Information Technology tools, and IT challenges. 
  • Relationship with other organizations: Includes question on involvement in formal collaborations or informal networks, the purpose of the collaboration/network, and impact of the collaboration/network.
  • Financial information: Includes questions on revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, changes in these, reliance on major revenue sources, specific sources of revenue, percent spent on staff compensation and facilities/space, endowments, and financial challenges.

Asked of Select Respondents:

  • Membership associations: Includes questions aimed exclusively at membership associations number of members, changes in number of members, and types of interactions with members. 
  • Faith-based organizations: Includes questions aimed exclusively at religious congregations or other organizations with religious identity on affiliation with religious denomination and number of members.
  • Advocacy and political activities: Includes questions aimed exclusively at organizations involved in advocacy and/or public education activities related to the interests of certain groups and specific policy issues, extent of organizational resources devoted to the work, types of activities, and challenges involved.

View the full survey

Nonprofit Capacity Assessment

 

Our second survey assessed the need of capacity building and technical assistance training in response to the challenges and opportunities nonprofit organizations face daily. This survey was designed to help grantmakers understand the obstacles organizations face and utilize key strategies to address these challenges. Our hope is to facilitate more effective collaboration between Indiana nonprofit organizations and Indiana grantmakers.

Phase I, completed in 2007, surveyed 91 charities at the request of the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance and Lumina Foundation for Education

Read the full report

Read the executive summary 

In 2008 Dr. Kirsten A. Grønbjerg and Li Chuan Liu presented at the ARNOVA Annual Conference in Philadelphia on the influence of organizational characteristics and activities on organizational capacities.

Read the ARNOVA report

Phase II, completed in 2010, surveyed almost 400 arts and culture organizations at the request of the Indiana Arts Commission

Read the preliminary report Read the full report Read the press release

In 2011 Dr. Kirsten Grønbjerg and Kellie McGiverin-Bohan presented at the ARNOVA Annual Conference in Toronto on capacity challenges among arts and culture nonprofits.

Read the ARNOVA report

2002 Comprehensive Survey

Our first comprehensive survey of Indiana nonprofits was completed in 2002. A joint effort by the Center on Philanthropy and the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, this survey analyzed charities, congregations, advocacy nonprofits, and membership associations to form a baseline of information about Indiana’s large nonprofit sector.

Asked of all Respondents:

  • General information: Includes questions on year of establishment, incorporation status, tax status, formal affiliations (by type of organization), and grant-making status.
  • Nonprofit programs and services: Includes questions on mission, most important programs/activities, whether programs/activities are targeted (members/general public, type of groups), number served, type of fee structure, changes in demands for services/programs, plans to expand/start health and human services, and number of locations in which services provided.
  • Impact of community and policy changes: Includes questions on impact of September 11 events and changes in community conditionas and public policy.
  • Relationship with other organizations: Includes question on involvement in formal collaborations or informal networks, the purpose of the collaboration/network, size of network, types of organizations involved, impact on the respondent's capacity, and competition with various types of other organizations for key resources.
  • Human resources: Includes questions on full-time and part-time staff, amount spent on staff compensation, if the executive is paid, use of volunteers, number of volunteers, importance of volunteers, if there is a board of directors, size of board, frequency of board meetings, and board committee structure.
  • Management information: Includes questions of whether various management activities pose challenges, and what types of organizational features are in place.
  • Financial information: Includes questions on revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, changes in these, reliance on major revenue sources, changes in these, and specific sources of revenue.

Asked of Select Respondents:

  • Membership and mutual-benefit activities: Includes questions aimed exclusively at congregations and other membership associations on whether members pay dues, type of dues structure, changes in number of members, and how many members.
  • Faith-based organizations: Includes questions aimed exclusively at religious congregations or other organizations with religious identity on affiliation with religious denomination, awareness of a national initiative to help religious organizations obtain government money, and likelihood of seeking government funding over next two years.
  • Advocacy and political activities: Includes questions aimed exclusively at organizations involved in advocacy on promotion of positions on policy issues or interests of certain groups, which issues/groups, and extent of organizational resources devoted to the work.

View the full survey

"Infrastructure and Activities: Relating IT to the Work of Nonprofit Organizations," by Richard Clerkin and Kirsten A. Grønbjerg. Pp. 3-20 in Nonprofits and Technology, edited by Michael Cortés & Kevin Rafter. Chicago: Lyceum Books. 2007.

"Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations: Their Characteristics and Activities," by Curtis Child and Kirsten A. Grønbjerg. Social Science Quarterly 88 (1, 2007) 259-81.

"The Capacities and Challenges of Faith-Based Human Service Organizations," by Richard Clerkin and Kirsten Grønbjerg. Public Administration Review 67 (1, 2007): 115-126. 

Nonprofits in Context: Assessing the Regional-level Correlates of Nonprofit Capacity Resources,” by Curtis D. Child, Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, and Hun Myoung Park. Paper presented at the annual meetings of ARNOVA, Chicago, IL, November 16-18, 2006.

"Researching Collaborative Structures and/or Their Outcomes: Challenges of Measurement and Methodology." Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, GA, August 14-16, 2006.

"Nonprofit Networks and Collaborations: Incidence, Scope and Outcomes," by Kirsten Grønbjerg and Curtis Child. Paper presented at the annual meetings of ARNOVA, Washington, D.C., November 17-19, 2005.

"A Portrait of Membership Associations: The Case of Indiana," by Kirsten Grønbjerg and Patricia Borntrager Tennen. Paper presented at the annual meetings of ARNOVA, Washington, D.C., November 17-19, 2005.

"Examining the Landscape of Indiana's Nonprofit Sector: Does What you Know Depend on Where you Look?" by Kirsten A. Grønbjerg and Richard M. Clerkin. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 34 (June 2005, No. 2): 232-59. 

The Role of Congregations in Delivering Human Services" by Richard M. Clerkin and Kirsten Grønbjerg. Paper presented at the Independent Sector Spring Research Forum, Washington, D.C., March 6-7, 2003.