White board with several people writing words (ex. "research" and "data").

Past research initiatives

Past research initiatives

Arizona Nonprofits: Economic Power, Positive Impact

The 2016 report Arizona Nonprofits: Economic Power, Positive Impact examines in economic terms the sizeable contribution that Arizona’s large and diverse nonprofit sector makes to everyday life and to the prosperity of our state. The findings debunk the perception that nonprofit organizations are a small component of the state economy, instead revealing a thriving and diverse network of social purpose organizations – some 21,000 strong – that are a powerful economic driver.

Social Impact Measurement & Management

It is a fact: a strong majority of nonprofit CEOs indicate an interest in programs, tools, and resources that would bolster their organization’s capacity to manage and measure program impact. The ASU Lodestar Center works in varying capacities involving social impact measurement.

The ASU Lodestar Center surveyed 80 nonprofit CEOs about their organizations’ impact measurement practices (May 2013). Measuring the performance and impact of programs is important to nonprofit CEOs: 93 percent agree that program impact measures are an important tool for decision-making. The Center has produced an infographic summarizing the survey results that includes current practices, trends, and needs.

Association Governance Research Project

Volunteer leadership is recognized as instrumental in guiding and ensuring the future success of nonprofit trade and professional associations (NTPA). This study identifed successful recruitment strategies, key processes, and crucial structures of high-performing boards. These practices suggest some of the most promising mechanisms to strengthen nonprofit boards. The research surveyed and interviewed executives and board members from a national sample of trade and professional associations. This resulted in a profile of current governance practices exhibited in trade and professional associations, and a description of promising practices used by the strongest boards.

Maricopa County Community Needs Assessment/Analysis of Recreation Programs

This multi-stage project is funded by the Maricopa Council on Youth Sports and Physical Activity, which is an extension of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority's Youth and Amateur Sports Advisory Committee.

The project's purpose is to describe the current level of youth sports and physical activity programs offered throughout Maricopa County. There are several levels of information that are necessary to describe the scope and prevalence of services offered. First is the identification of providers; second is the specification of services/programs provided; and third is a specification of individuals served. These data will be compiled to integrate with an existing GIS map of sports/recreation areas and facilities.

Nonprofit Organizational Practices Survey Project

Nonprofit organizations of all types make an increasingly important contribution to the economic, political, social, and cultural development of Arizona, yet our knowledge of these organizations is still limited. The Center has conducted a survey research project to better understand the mission, programs, governance, constituent relations, and performance of Arizona nonprofit organizations.

Profile of Charitable Foundations in Arizona

This report is the 2005 update profiling charitable foundations in Arizona. Foundations in Arizona have shown steady growth over the years. This report details the number and location of Arizona's private and public foundations and provides financial and descriptive information.

Note: Sponsored by the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation.

Think Tank Proceedings

An occasional “Think Tank” series has been organized by the Center on timely topics of importance to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. See links to thinktank findings below:

Nonprofit Research Abridged

The Center developed and disseminated an occasional series of research monographs on timely and relevant topics/research as a service to the nonprofit sector. See links to previous issues below:

Collaboration Prize

In 2008, the Arizona-Indiana-Michigan Alliance became partners with the Lodestar Foundation on a new initiative called the Collaboration Prize. The Collaboration Prize is designed to inspire cooperation among nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the efficiencies gained from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations among two or more nonprofit organizations that each would otherwise provide the same or similar programs or services and compete for clients, financial resources, or staff. 

To view the reports generated as a result of this initiative, please visit the Collaboration Research page.

Faith Based Community Initiatives

In May 2007, Arizona hosted the first in a series of White House Conferences on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI). The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation and the Governor’s Office for Faith and Community Initiatives released the report, “Restoring Lives, Transforming Communities: Building a strong foundation through faith and community initiatives,” highlighting the outcomes from that sentinel event and exploring promising practices of collaborations in Arizona.