Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research

The mission of the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research is to provide research, evaluation, and consulting services that build the leadership and strategic- and evaluative-thinking capacity of local nonprofits as well as to be the leading source of information, data, and research on the local nonprofit sector.


The Caster Center offers resources and products that are grounded in systematic research and have direct applicability to the field. It also serves as an important training facility that enables doctoral students to directly engage in a variety of Third Sector research projects. The Caster Center works in collaboration and under contract with nonprofit-service and charitable organizations on a wide range of projects.

Laura Deitrick, Director
Mary Jo Schumann, Associate Director

Recent Research


This study reveals for the first time the size, scope and economic significance of California’s nonprofits, relying on data that has never before been aggregated.  The groundbreaking report was commissioned by the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), the statewide policy alliance of more than 10,000 organizations.  The research was conducted by Dr. Laura Deitrick of the Caster Center and was guided by an advisory panel of more than 30 nonprofit leaders from throughout California. 

Video Preview of the Report

Regional Breakdowns (Bay Area, Central Coast, Far North, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, Sierras)

State of Nonprofits Report Cover

This report chronicles the capacity, contributions, and overall economic health and well-being of the San Diego nonprofit sector over time and documents the current state of the nonprofit sector in San Diego County based on perspectives of local nonprofit leaders. 

MCSF Report Cover

Over the course of one year, researchers from the Caster Center interviewed seriously wounded service members and their spouses and children, as well as military, civilian and nonprofit professionals who work with this population. 

State of Nonprofits Logo

San Diego’s only index charting the economic health of local area nonprofits.

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