A study of international aid nonprofits

International development is one of the fastest growing parts of the U.S. nonprofit sector. More than 1,000 new international aid organizations are launched every year, working all over the globe to deliver crucial services, advocate for social change, and build relationships that span national borders.

Many of these organizations want to build their capacity as aid actors. To help funders and leaders develop better strategies, this survey will gather first-of-its-kind data on aid organizations’ current operations, existing capacity, and key challenges.

This survey, implemented by Indiana University’s Center for Survey Research, builds on previous work by the Indiana Nonprofits Project and the Civic Life of Cities to learn more about this critical part of the nonprofit sector. Our results will ensure that leaders in the nonprofit and international development fields have better data to support grassroots aid organizations.

Contact us at graid@indiana.edu.


Want to learn about our findings?

Read the report

About the Researchers

Susan Appe in a group, cropped square.

Susan Appe

Associate professor, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY

Susan Appe served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Macedonia and Bolivia, and later as a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia and Ecuador. She has published broadly on NGOs and government-nonprofit relations and is co-editor-in-chief of VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.

See faculty profile
Allison Schnable claps while a child looks on

Allison Schnable

Associate Professor, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Allison Schnable served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and has carried out research in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. She is a lead researcher of the NGO Knowledge Collective and leads a study abroad program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

See faculty profile

Derek Richardson

Graduate Research Assistant, Indiana University

Derek Richardson is a sociology PhD candidate at Indiana University with research interests in health, international development, and organizations. He uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to study how organizations in the global North deliver health interventions to countries in the global South and the consequences of those interventions.

A Message from the Researchers

Play the Kaltura video.

Description of the video:

I'm Susan Appe, a faculty member at the University at Albany in New York State. And I've spent now almost 20 years working with and researching non-governmental organizations or non-profit organizations, working in Latin America and more recently in East Africa. I'm Allison Schnable, an assistant professor at Indiana University. And like Susan, I've been studying non-profit organizations, working in international relief, development and human rights for over a decade. These are passionate organizations working in ways that would have been impossible just a few decades ago. But because these organizations have grown so quickly and evolve so much, scholars and funders really don't have the information we need about these organizations. So we're asking for your help to respond to the grassroots aid survey to fill that data gap with the survey like this, every organization that doesn't respond leaves a blank space in the data. We cannot just simply replace you with another organization. And that makes findings a little less representative and of lower quality. For those of you who have invited to take the survey, thank you for logging on at the link here on this page and for taking 20 minutes or so to complete the survey online. We're excited to learn from you. Thank you.