Our History

The Institute for Nonprofits has its roots in the Nonprofit Initiative begun in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2002. We were formally established in 2003 with a million dollar matching gift from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. Since then, our programs and sources of funding have expanded to allow us greater reach and depth in building the capacity and leadership of the nonprofit sector through research, education, and community engagement.

In 2004, we created an undergraduate minor in nonprofit studies.  The minor’s innovative curriculum has gained national attention for its emphasis on service-learning and integration of leadership themes. We continue to develop the minor and other for-credit and non-credit educational programs.

In 2005, we received our first research contract, analyzing a health collaborative for the John Rex Endowment.  Since then, we have carried out a range of research projects and supported new research through grants to cover study expenses and travel awards to academic conferences.  Soon, we will be giving out an award for best academic publication for building understanding of nonprofit membership associations.

We began with a small group of committed NC State faculty and Raleigh community members, and today our Community of Nonprofit Scholars has more than 400 members drawn from NC State, other universities, and the broader community. Community engagement was the defining spirit at our founding and continues to inspire our integration of teaching, research, and engagement  activities.