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 Review, Social Forces, Social Problems, NVSQ, Nonprofit 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 Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press.
Fulton also developed, edited, and published three semester-long online courses: Diversity and Inequality, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, and Statistics for the Social Sciences. His lectures have been played over 75,000 times by people from 118 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 journals Social Service Review and Sociology of Religion, a faculty affiliate of IU’s Network Science Institute, and a fellow with the Aspen Institute.