The NAAU is a product of a public/private partnership between the Monterey Bay Aquarium and IMPACTS Research & Development. The study’s sponsors believe that the NAAU represents the largest, most comprehensive and inclusive scope of research concerning VSOs heretofore conducted in the United States.

An advisory committee comprised of leaders in the field of nonprofit VSO management provides counsel to the NAAU process through development, deployment and analysis.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is participating in this project because its work with IMPACTS has shown the value of this type of research in making business decisions that have positioned the Aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. This project, coupled with the Aquarium’s long-standing work with The Ocean Project on a national survey about public attitudes towards the oceans, is part of the Aquarium’s strategic initiative to be a leader in its field by helping other organizations successfully pursue their missions and become more conservation oriented.