The Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact is dedicated to investigating how organizations can work together to achieve social impact. Located at Northwestern University, the research team includes undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral research fellows, and faculty. Started in September 2012, NNSI uniquely focuses on research that emphasizes collaborative efforts and network structures that include nonprofit organizations and their many organizational and community partners.
The Nonprofit Capacity Project focuses on the various ways that nonprofit networks, including relationships with other nonprofits, businesses and government agencies, influence nonprofit capacity. Funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER award, this project surveyed nearly 1000 NGOs, including NGOs on every continent. The research produced two important outcomes. This research developed and tested the … Continue reading Nonprofit Capacity Project
In order to better understand how collective impact networks really function, Katherine Cooper and Michelle Shumate conducted an in-depth case study. Katherine attended regular meetings as an ethnographer for over 2 years. In addition, we conducted four waves of surveys with organizational members. From this research, we became interested in at least two areas of … Continue reading Case Study on Collective Impact Collaborations
This National Science Foundation-funded project, in collaboration with Amy O’Connor (University of Minnesota), examines how people respond to information about corporate-nonprofit partnerships. We have conducted three waves of experiments with about 2500 people. The goal of these experiments is to determine what types of communication causes people to change their attitudes and ideas about nonprofits and corporations. In addition, we examine if these … Continue reading The Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships
In this Bill & Melinda Gates funded project, we examine how health innovations scale-up across organizational boundaries. Sophia Fu, Noshir Contractor, and Michelle Shumate collaborated on this project. We surveyed 9,119 government healthcare workers across 1,849 state health agencies in Bihar, India. We found that organizational decision-makers consider different things than non-decision makers when evaluating … Continue reading Knowledge Sharing Networks for Global Health
This Army-Research Office funded project examines how to organize multiple organizations in a community in order to achieve the best results. In this ambitious 3-year project, we are comparing 14-pairs of communities (matched based on demographics and size within state). One community in each pair is using a formal, centralized form of collaborating called collective … Continue reading Collective Impact and Networks for Education Reform
In this pilot study, Sophia Fu, Katherine Cooper, and Michelle Shumate examined what technologies nonprofits use to collaborate. We conducted a survey with 181 human service nonprofits in the United States. We find that nonprofits general use ubiquitous technologies, like e-mail, teleconferencing, and shared repositories to maintain their relationships with partners. However, the way that … Continue reading Technologies for Collaboration