American Institutes for Research Partners with Local Non-Profits to Build Resiliency and Opportunity

Partnerships for Progress initiative focuses on areas where AIR staff work and live

Arlington, Va., July 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is establishing new partnerships with three organizations that support resilience in communities where AIR staff live and work. Through its Partnerships for Progress initiative, AIR will build relationships and provide funding to non-profits that are working locally to address significant challenges:

  • BUILD, Inc., which creates opportunities for youth to access mental health care and cultivate peace and prosperity on Chicago’s West Side;
  • Ayuda, which provides legal, social and language services to help low-income immigrants and refugees access justice and transform their lives across Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia; and
  • Development in Gardening (DIG), which fosters climate resilience among marginalized people in rural Kenya through gardening, community mentorship and entrepreneurship.

Each of these organizations contributes to community resilience by ensuring the people closest to community challenges have the resources, platforms and allies they need to build solutions and create durable social change. AIR’s initial donations will total nearly $150,000. The institution’s trust-based philanthropy model will provide the partners with the flexibility to channel AIR funding where it is needed most, while focusing on adding value through organic collaborations.

“These organizations work to help people gain more control over their own futures and take part in addressing the challenges facing their families and communities,” said Makini Nyanteh, AIR senior vice president and chief communications officer. “These partnerships go beyond writing a check. Our leadership and staff look forward to connecting with these organizations through learning, volunteerism and advocacy; opening space for their voices on our platforms; and sharing insights and evidence from our work."

The three organizations said they are grateful for this new partnership and see value in the skills and capabilities that AIR brings to their organizations.

“Every day I see the power and potential of young people fighting to build futures in their neighborhoods,” said Adam Alonso, CEO of BUILD. “Evidence is vital for nonprofits like ours, working to save lives and reduce violence in the long term. It is crucial not just to demonstrate our impact, but also to refine what we provide. This partnership with AIR adds immense value to our work.”

“AIR took the time to find nonprofits that fly under the radar of many corporate giving programs,” said Sarah Koch, DIG CEO and founder. “Through its partnership with DIG, AIR’s support will reach some of the most marginalized women in rural Kenya, providing training and resources to start gardens that will feed their families and transform their communities.”

“We are inspired by AIR’s commitment to community resilience,” said Paula Fitzgerald, executive director at Ayuda. “Our services are almost entirely based on referrals and word-of-mouth—community members lifting neighbors up and leaving no one behind. I am excited about what we can accomplish together.”

Partnerships for Progress is the latest component of AIR’s charitable giving program that celebrates and invests in staff volunteerism, responds to urgent humanitarian crises, and provides opportunities for staff to come together around shared interests in a hybrid work environment. In recent years, AIR has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in support to organizations including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Doctors without Borders, and other local and global nonprofits aligned with its equity-focused mission.

Learn more about Partnerships for Progress and AIR’s commitment to corporate social responsibility on the AIR website.

About AIR

Established in 1946, with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the American Institutes for Research® (AIR®) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and the workforce. AIR's work is driven by its mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR has offices across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit


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