Dr. Nichola Driver, Assistant Professor and Faculty Director for the Office of Community Engagement at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, is collaborating on a survey that seeks to determine the extent of the impacts COVID-19 has had on Arkansas nonprofits.
The survey opened on Monday, June 22 and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10.
The study was designed in collaboration with Dr. Kirk Leach, Assistant Professor in the UA Little Rock School of Public Affairs, and Sarah Kinser, Chief Program Officer at Arkansas Community Foundation. Leach’s research is focused on nonprofit management, collaborative governance, and nonprofits engaging with the private and public sector. Kinser oversees Arkansas Community Foundation’s grantmaking, affiliate system, impact investing, and community partnerships.
The study hopes to shed light on the challenges that Arkansas nonprofits are experiencing during this difficult time.
“Clinton School field service partners will be one population of interest for the survey, but we will also be partnering with the Arkansas Community Foundation to utilize their list of nonprofits as potential respondents,” Driver said. “We are asking questions pertaining to overall impacts on programs and services, impact on employment, and current organizational needs. We will also ask some questions about the organization’s purpose, budget, and zip code.”
Arkansas nonprofits are an integral part of the Clinton School’s project-based learning model. The Clinton School partners with many Arkansas nonprofit organizations as part of the school’s field service work. Practicum projects, which take teams of first-year Clinton School students into Arkansas communities to foster community development and social change, annually partner with public agencies, community initiatives, academic ventures, and nonprofit organizations across the state.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, many of this summer’s International Public Service Projects are partnering with Arkansas-based organizations, including UA Little Rock Children International, Canopy NWA, the Ozark Society, and Phoenix Youth and Family Services.
The Beverly Carter Foundation, Heifer International, and Immerse Arkansas were among the nonprofit partners for Clinton School students’ final Capstone projects during the recent spring semester.
In total, Clinton School students have completed more than 1,000 field service projects since 2005, equaling more than 390,000 hours of non-classroom work.
“By participating in the survey, you will help inform the public about the experiences of nonprofits and the biggest challenges your organization has faced during the pandemic,” Leach said. “The survey is confidential, contains 25 questions, and should take about 10 minutes to complete.”
The study can be found online here. It has been reviewed and approved by UA Little Rock's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB has determined that this study meets the ethical obligations required by federal law and University policies.
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