NIU, county-wide partnership collaborate on nonprofit study

DeKalb County Nonprofit StudyWith more than $523 million in total revenue and nearly $848 million in assets, the nonprofit sector in DeKalb County is an important contributor to the regional economy.

A new study explores nonprofit organizations based in DeKalb County and provides a glimpse at their funding, programs, outreach efforts and other characteristics. NIU’s Center for NGO Leadership and Development (NGOLD) and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership (DCNP) collaborated on the study.

“The idea for this project came from DCNP members,” said Anita Zurbrugg, DCNP program coordinator and program director for the DeKalb County Community Foundation. “We kept hearing from staff and board members that they want resources to help them make decisions about programs, expenditures and how best to serve the community. DCNP works to support the nonprofit sector in DeKalb County, so this project made a lot of sense for us.”

The initiative is supported by funding from the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation.

The study consisted of an electronic survey that was sent to nonprofit representatives in February 2015. Data collection lasted three weeks, followed by analysis and reporting of the results. The survey generated a response rate of about 40 percent.

Ben Bingle
Ben Bingle

“We designed the survey with broad input from the nonprofit community to help ensure the results are as relevant as possible,” said Ben Bingle, NGOLD outreach coordinator and the principle investigator for the study. “Our hope is that this report is a useful resource for those working with nonprofits in the county.”

Local nonprofit leaders are taking notice.

Micki Chulick, retired executive director of Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) and current nonprofit board member, said she believes it is “the most comprehensive study of the nonprofit industry in DeKalb County that has ever been conducted.

“It provides powerful data for organizations to use when seeking grants and other funding opportunities,” Chulick said. “It was a masterful idea to break out some of the data by legislative district, making it useful as organizations shape their advocacy agendas and present district-specific information to legislators. Thank you to NGOLD and DCNP for their leadership on this project.”

For more information about the survey methodology, call (815) 753-4410 or email ngoldcenter@niu.edu.

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