Nonprofit Organization Research Panel (NORP)

Nonprofit Organization Research Panel (NORP) is a university-based project that supports research on nonprofit management. Research topics range from the important roles that nonprofit managers play to the innovative approaches they use to better serve the public.

NORP is an opt-in, email panel of the leaders of selected 501c3 nonprofit organizations working in the areas of arts & culture and human services who agree to participate in occasional web-based surveys. Project study topics cover the use of technology, collaboration with other entities, government contract management, grant applications, leadership, and other governance and management topics.



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Location of NORP Organizations (as of October 2020)


Census Regions

Region Number of Organizations Percent
Northeast 586 20.73
MidWest 681 24.09
South 890 31.48
West 670 23.70
Total 2,827 100


Census Divisions

Division Number of Organizations Percent
Middle Atlantic 402 14.22
New England 184 6.51
East North Central 431 15.25
West North Central 250 8.84
East South Central 135 4.78
West South Central 249 8.81
South Atlantic 506 17.90
Mountain 220 7.78
Pacific 450 15.92
Total 2,827 100



Click to see: Census Regions and Divisions of the United States Map


Size and Type of NORP Organizations (as of October 2020)

Click here to learn more about the type of NORP organizations (based on NTEE-cc)

What is the NTEE-cc system? The National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) system is used by the IRS and NCCS to classify nonprofit organizations. It is also used by the Foundation Center to classify both grants and grant recipients (typically nonprofits or governments). National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) and the IRS use the NTEE-CC system, described HERE.


Human Service Organizations

Human Service Nonprofits Income Size Freq. Percent
Below $100,000 306 15.41
$100,000 - $249,999 310 15.61
$250,000 - $499,999 291 14.65
$500,000 - $999,999 277 13.95
$1 million - $4.99 million 542 27.29
$5 million and more 260 13.09
Total 1,986 100



Arts and Culture Organizations

Arts Nonprofits
Income Size
Freq. Percent
Below $100,000 239 31.00
$100,000 - $249,999 169 21.92
$250,000 - $499,999 111 14.40
$500,000 - $999,999 102 13.23
$1 million - $4.99 million 121 15.69
$5 million and more 29 3.76
Total 771 100

Based on gross receipts from most recently filed Form 990. Note that human service nonprofits and arts and culture nonprofits comprise most NORP organizations, but there are about 70 organizations that fall outside these two major categories.



Why is nonprofit research necessary?

Social science research helps to discern trends in specific areas of interest. Nonprofits increasingly face challenges such as unexpected cuts in funding, changes in contract terms, an untimely departures of key personnel, or the need to adapt to new technology. NORP aims to provide a platform through which nonprofit leaders can collectively find better ways to cope with such challenges without incurring disruptions in service to the community or loss of public confidence.

With better knowledge, nonprofits can effectively position themselves in the environments that are often uncontrollable. Research can provide answers to how a nonprofit can design a maximally viable competitive position in a field or whether to join collaborative arrangements or not, and if it does, under what circumstances.