Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is NDI?

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. 

Where do you work?

Since its founding in 1983, NDI has worked in more than 150 countries. The Institute currently has more than 50 field offices working to strengthen and support democracy around the globe.

How is NDI funded?

The programs of the National Democratic Institute have been supported by more than 160 organizations, including the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, other international development agencies and private donations. You can learn more through this page about organizations that support our work. NDI is also supported by charitable contributions from individuals who wish to support NDI's mission to work for democracy and make democracy work. You can learn more about giving to NDI on our Donation FAQ page.

Is NDI independent from the U.S. government?

Yes. NDI is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization. Click here to download NDI's 990 from fiscal year 2017.

Does NDI "meddle" in elections?

No. Democracy assistance has absolutely nothing in common with the cyber-hacking and disinformation efforts of authoritarian regimes, who are afraid to hold legitimate elections at home. You can learn more through this page about the false comparison between election manipulation and democracy assistance

How was NDI established?

NDI was created in 1983 as one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was established by Congress in that year to act as a grant-making foundation, distributing funds to private organizations for the purpose of promoting democracy abroad. Also launched that year were the International Republican Institute (IRI), the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (the Solidarity Center), and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). 

What is NDI’s philosophy?

Since its founding, NDI has responded to the aspirations of people around the world to live in democratic societies that recognize and promote basic human rights. With its local partners, the Institute brings together individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise to strengthen and improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of governance. The Institute’s multinational approach reinforces the message that while there is no single democratic model, certain core principles are shared by all democracies. The Institute’s work upholds the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Is NDI affiliated with the Democratic Party?

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization with a loose affiliation with the Democratic Party. We do not operate in the United States and we take no position on U.S. elections. We have no political agenda and work with democrats of all political stripes around the world.

Who is on your board?

The Institute’s board of directors is chaired by former Senator THOMAS A. DASCHLE. Board members come from diverse walks of life, and their experiences and talents help to inform and guide our work. You can learn more about the board and read the biographies of its members on our site.

Do you offer grants?

No. NDI is not a grant-making organization.

How can I work at NDI?

Information about current openings at the Institute is available online. NDI welcomes applications from qualified candidates. Learn more about careers at the Institute and read current job listings at our employment page.