Advancing Evidence and Action to Drive Social Impact

Philanthropy in America is undergoing a major transition. The private sector is taking an active role in investing in local communities. More businesses are doing well by “doing good.” Nonprofits are modernizing the ways they measure impact. And the need for robust community solutions to increasingly complex and interconnected social problems is as acute as ever. The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy works across all sectors to increase the impact of actors on the front lines of social change. By partnering with changemakers, sharing knowledge, and analyzing results, CNP is amplifying these efforts to improve practice, inform policy and advance public understanding.

Examples Of Our Expertise

  • Social Impact Measurement
  • Formative Evaluation
  • Data Capacity Assessment
  • Performance Management
  • Beneficiary Feedback
  • Learning Community & Impact Network Support
  • Research Translation and Curation

What We're Working On

  • Helping social impact investing to be more effective
  • Identifying new social service innovations
  • Advancing diversity, inclusion and equity in the social sector
  • Examining ways to increase and democratize giving
  • Measuring local and global philanthropic giving and investments
  • Building the capacity of nonprofits to use data and evidence

 Our Engaged Scholarship Approach

The power of our work comes from fostering an ongoing connection between the individuals conducting research and the people implementing community solutions. We put this engaged scholarship approach into practice by:

  • Integrating research and insight with practical and community expertise
  • Working collaboratively with colleagues across sectors
  • Leveraging the breadth of policy expertise across the Urban Institute
  • Promoting free and open data access and transparent analysis
  • Being both responsive and forward thinking; and
  • Maintaining rigorous standards without losing sight of context and lived experience

Our Impact

For over twenty years, CNP has served a critical role as a credible and reliable source of information. Today, the media cites our data analyses almost daily, other nonprofit and philanthropy-focused organizations use our data and research in support of their recommendations and researchers across a broad range of disciplines use our data to build a knowledge base for the sector.