Earlier this week the Nonprofit Finance Fund released the results of their 7th annual State of the Sector survey about the financial health of the American nonprofit sector. This on-going survey, now in its 7th year, has become a fascinating marker to gauge how the nonprofit sector is evolving amid a changing economic climate.
The Nonprofit Finance Fund launched the survey in 2008, when the economic crisis was just beginning. This year results from 5,451 respondents show some positive signs of adaptation and growth, but also recurring challenges that continue to face the sector.
Nonprofits are unable to meet a growing demand for their services:
Nonprofits still (not surprisingly) struggle to make ends meet. While some nonprofits are achieving financial sustainability (47% ended 2014 with a surplus, the highest in the history of the survey), many still face real challenges:
And these financial challenges are due in large part to the catch-22 funders place nonprofits in by routinely covering only a portion of the full costs of the programs they intend to support:
So we still have a long way to go.
But those nonprofits who are faring well in this environment are those being strategic. As one human services nonprofit leader put it:
“Sustainable funding continues to be our greatest challenge. Our actions to address this challenge include developing and adhering to a strong and dynamic strategic plan; diversifying our program funding streams as much as possible; developing and communicating a strong community impact statement for our programs; and focusing on increased donor engagement in order to increase fundraising dollars.”
You can dig further into the data from this and past years’ surveys here.
- See more at: http://www.socialvelocity.net/2015/04/the-state-of-the-nonprofit-sector-in-2015/?utm_source=Social+Velocity&utm_campaign=f4fd7b791a-May-2015-Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd2775777e-f4fd7b791a-51663373&mc_cid=f4fd7b791a&mc_eid=412bcfb58e#sthash.VjP578PA.dpuf