About Wilder Research


Wilder Research is a nationally respected nonprofit research and evaluation group. We work with nonprofits, community leaders, government agencies, foundations and policymakers throughout Minnesota and the country to gather and interpret facts and trends, help them uncover and understand issues affecting their communities and how best to address them, and inform action that improves lives and communities. 


Wilder Research's mission is to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities through research and evaluation.


  • Objective
  • Culturally responsive 
  • Collaborative
  • Community-engaged

Our Wilder Research Team is Here to Help

Our experienced staff provides a range of services to meet your research and evaluation needs. Learn about our staff, including researchers, data collection and analysis, web and application development, and communications and graphic design specialists.

A Great Place to Work

The people who come to work at Wilder Research want to change the world.

Our “people first” approach means we work hard to create a supportive, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming work environment. We strive to empower all of our staff in helping us achieve that goal. We support our staff in their professional development by providing opportunities to build their skills and portfolio, and explore areas of interest in their work. 

What our partners say

"Wilder has been instrumental in helping restructure and improve service development and delivery for youth, families, and communities with justice involvement in Hennepin County Juvenile Probation. They have provided research to support program development through a lens of best practices and equity, developed avenues to support data collection with community agencies selected to deliver services, and most importantly connected with program recipients to learn about the impact and effectiveness of the program. It’s been a pleasure to work with them over the past few years!"

- Adesola Jaiyesimi, Youth Equity and Innovation Manager, Juvenile Probation Division, Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections

Our History

  • 1910s  In 1917, the Amherst H. Wilder Charity conducted its first research project, surveying housing conditions in the city of St. Paul. The findings describe sections of the city unsuited for human habitation, prompt public outrage, and result in the first St. Paul housing ordinance.
  • 1940s  Wilder's Board of Directors authorizes a formal Research and Statistics division, which uses census data to monitor trends and needs of the metro, and assists nonprofits with evaluations of their programs and services.
  • 1970s  Wilder Research Center develops a client record system for the Wilder Foundation and conducts needs assessment studies of specific populations including the elderly, single parents, and young adults living in the East Metro area.
  • 1980s  Wilder Research expands its reach with a statewide study examining issues affecting older adults, and conducts its first homeless study uncovering the plight of homeless families, youth, and children living in Saint Paul. 
  • 1990s  Wilder Research develops the Metro Trend Watch, developing and maintaining a set of indicators to track the health of the East Metro.
  • Today  Wilder Research works with hundreds of organizations to assess the impact and economic value of their programs, improve their operations and outcomes, plan for the future, allocate funds, revise policies, and increase public awareness of important issues affecting our communities. Our triennial statewide Minnesota Homeless Study receives national recognition for its critical role in providing data used by state and local planners, policy-makers and service providers. Minnesota Compass provides trend data on issues affecting the state's well-being.