Making an Impact
About the Dakota Institute

Stronger companies and communities through expert economic analysis and insight.
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The Dakota Institute is a nonprofit economic research and analysis organization. Our mission is to support the long-term economic growth and development of South Dakota and the Northern Plains region. We fulfill our mission by supporting decision makers in all fields with the best available data and analysis so they can make strategic decisions and investments that drive growth.

Driving growth isn’t easy, but the Dakota Institute has an outsized impact because of our unique business model developed with a social entrepreneurship mindset. As a nonprofit our goal is to help all decision makers, and we accomplish this by sharing our public benefit research for free. We never charge for access to the Dakota Outlook or our other economic analysis articles written by our staff or fellows. Second, we fund our operations and public benefit work by providing fee-for-service consulting to clients who need our expertise to help their organizations, companies, or communities thrive and grow.

Public Benefit Research

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The Dakota Institute combines aspects of a traditional economic think tank with a new social entrepreneurship business model. Our staff and fellows are subject matter experts who lend their expertise to the Dakota Institute’s public benefit research. This research helps policymakers and business leaders better understand our region and make strategic decisions that support long-term growth and development.

Fee-for-Service Consulting

The Dakota Institute works with businesses, governments and nonprofits on research projects that will help make their organizations or communities stronger. Our work includes housing studies, economic impact studies, market forecasts and much more. We provide our clients with valuable expertise that supports their growth now and tomorrow. This paid consulting work helps fund our public benefit work, so our clients can feel good knowing that our collaboration will have an impact across the region.

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Make Informed Decisions

Is research and analysis an integral part of your organization’s decision process? We’re here to help.

Our staff and fellows help policymakers and business leaders better understand the issues facing the region and identify the solutions that drive the region forward.

Meet Our Staff

Jared McEntaffer, PhD
CEO, Chief Economist

Meet Our Fellows

Aaron Scholl, PhD
David Sorenson, PhD
Devan Schaefer
Kyle Kopplin, PhD

Meet Our Board

Van Fishback
Rob Oliver, MBA
Vice Chair
David Chicoine, PhD
Michael S. Bender, CCIM, SIOR