Dr. Brad R. Fulton

Associate Professor of Nonprofit Management & Social Policy

O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Indiana University – Bloomington

Brad R. Fulton is an expert on the social, political, and economic impact of community-based organizations. He is a highly resourceful, naturally collaborative, and intrinsically motivated team leader and social scientist who uses innovative data collection methods and analyses to gain insights on individuals and organizations.


Duke University

Ph.D. Sociology

University of Chicago

A.M., Social Science

UC Berkeley

B.S., Industrial Engineering

Duke University

Ph.D. Sociology

University of Chicago

A.M., Social Science

UC Berkeley

B.S., Industrial Engineering

UC Berkeley

B.S., Industrial Engineering

University of Chicago

M.A., Social Science

Duke University

Ph.D., Sociology


  • Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • Capstone in Public Affairs
  • Statistics for the Social Sciences
  • Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
  • Research Methods
  • Diversity and Inequality 


Brad R. Fulton is an expert on the social, political, and economic impact of community-based organizations. He directs the National Study of Community Organizing—a multi-level study that examines the causes and consequences of racial, socioeconomic, and religious diversity within grassroots advocacy organizations. Fulton leads the Social Sector Initiative which is analyzing data on over one million nonprofit organizations to construct a first-of-its-kind network dataset that links U.S. foundation and grantee data spanning the past 10 years.

Fulton co-leads the Observing Civic Engagement project—a field study that uses an innovative data collection technique, known as systematic social observation, to analyze the internal dynamics of organizations. He is also the co-director of the National Study of Congregations’ Economic Practices—a multimethod study that analyzes how religious congregations receive, manage, and spend their financial resources. To fund his research projects, Fulton has obtained $5.5 million in external funding.

Among Fulton’s publications are the award-winning book A Shared Future (University of Chicago Press), a chapter in Woody Powell’s Nonprofit Sector Research Handbook, and articles published in journals including the American Sociological ReviewSocial ForcesSocial ProblemsNVSQNonprofit Management & Leadership, and Voluntas. Fulton’s research has received 18 national awards from academic associations spanning six disciplines and is regularly covered by media outlets including the New York TimesWashington Post, and Associated Press.

Fulton also developed, edited, and published three semester-long online courses: Diversity and InequalityNonprofit Management & Leadership, and Statistics for the Social Sciences. His lectures have been played over 100,000 times by people from 147 different countries. Relative to equivalent courses on Apple Podcasts, they are among the highest rated and most reviewed.

Fulton earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University. He also holds a master’s in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s in industrial engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Fulton joined O’Neill as an assistant professor in 2015, and he is an editorial board member for the American Journal of SociologySocial Service Review, and Sociology of Religion, a faculty affiliate of IU’s Network Science Institute, and a fellow with the Aspen Institute.



Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award

2023  Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching | Innovate Award Finalist

2022  AmeriCorps | Research Grant $305,786

2022  Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly | Outstanding Article Award

2022  Alteryx Excellence Award | Best Example of Using Data for Good

2022  Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement | Research Grant $50,000

2021   American Sociological Association | Section Article Award

2021   Nonprofit Management & Leadership | Editors’ Prize for Best Article

2020  Aspen Institute | Inclusive America Project Fellow

2019   AmeriCorps | Research Grant $436,439

2018   Charity Navigator | Dugan Research Award on Philanthropic Impact

2018   Lilly Endowment Inc. | Research Grant $2,996,185

2017   ARNOVA | Felice Davidson Perlmutter Best Paper Award

2017   Lilly Endowment Inc. | Research Grant $1,670,000

2016   American Sociological Association | Section Article Award

2016   ARNOVA | Outstanding Book Award in Nonprofit Research

2015   American Political Science Association | Section Dissertation Award

2015   National Communication Association | Dennis Gouran Award

2014   Academy of Management | Research Methods – Best Paper Proceedings

2013   ARNOVA | President’s Award for Nonprofit Research

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