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Special Topics Surveys

Local Government Official Survey

The Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (IACIR) periodically collects information on current issues affecting local governments in Indiana and/or services available to Indiana residents. In 2010, the IACIR surveyed nearly 1,150 local government officials, including mayors, county auditors, county commissioners, county and town council members, school board members, and township trustees.

Our reports focus on nonprofit-government relations in Indiana. Currently posted and subsequent reports will examine responses by local government officials to other topics of interest to Indiana nonprofit and philanthropic policy-makers: knowledge of 2-1-1 information services, nonprofit payments and/or services in lieu of taxes, relationships between local government and nonprofits, reliance on nonprofits to deliver government services, and the personal involvement by local government officials as volunteers or members of nonprofits.

Nonprofit Trust Survey

Click here to see the press release for this study. The full report is available here: Are Nonprofits Trustworthy?

Conducted in October 2008 and managed by the Center for Survey Research at Indiana University, the Nonprofit Trust Survey asked 536 Indiana residents whether they trust nonprofits and charities in their communities to do what is right just about all the time, most of the time, some of the time, or hardly ever. We asked the same question about state government in Indianapolis, local government, the federal government and businesses and corporations in their community. We also asked respondents about their political orientations and about a broad range of socio-demographic characteristics.

Key Findings

Three findings stand out from our analysis:

  • There are significant differences in the extent to which people trust the five types of institutions examined in the survey and Indiana residents trust nonprofits to do what is right much more than other key institutions
  • Despite these differences, there appears to be underlying trust tendencies – those that trust one of the five institutions also generally trust the other four
  • People that have more resources or connections tend to trust these types of institutions more so than those who don't have such resources and connections.

Personal Affiliation Survey

Indiana residents interact with nonprofits daily, often times without knowing it. The Personal Affiliation Survey, conducted in May 2001 and managed by the Center for Survey Research at Indiana University, is an effort to catalogue the types of nonprofits Indiana residents interact with and the nature of this interaction. Five hundred and twenty-six respondents were asked in a random telephone poll about four types of involvement with nonprofits during the past 12 months: participation in religious services; attending events or activities at other types of nonprofits; volunteering; or workingfor nonprofits.The survey also allowed us to evaluate the utility of this alternative approach to sampling Indiana nonprofits, compared to drawing a sample from a comprehensive nonprofit database.

Our key findings show that these four types of nonprofit involvement vary some by the socio-economic status, demographic characteristics, and community attachment of respondents.