Despite Challenges, Nonprofits Expanding Programs, Staff, Study Finds

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In the face of "chronic challenges intensified by deep concerns about real-time developments," nonprofits are expanding their programs and hiring staff, a study conducted by the Nonprofit Finance Fund finds.

According to the 2018 Nonprofit Finance Fund State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, demand for nonprofit services continues to increase faster than most organizations can meet it, with 86 percent of those responding to the survey indicating that demand for their services has increased and 57 percent saying they are uncertain whether they can meet demand. Funded in part by the Bank of America Foundation, the survey of almost thirty-four hundred nonprofit leaders found that nonprofits’ top challenges continue to be offering competitive pay packages (66 percent), achieving financial stability (62 percent), raising funds to cover the full cost of their programs (57 percent), and raising unrestricted funds (46 percent).

Despite these concerns, a majority of survey respondents said they had increased staff (53 percent) or boosted compensation (55 percent) in 2017, while 63 percent said they planned to expand programs and services. In addition, more than two-thirds (68 percent) said they are collaborating with other nonprofits, 60 percent said they plan to increase the diversity of their leadership and/or staff, 45 percent indicated an interest in developing a succession plan, 38 percent said they plan to invest in impact measurement software, and 37 percent plan to engage more formally in advocacy/policy.

"These data reaffirm the unflagging dedication of nonprofit leaders, who continue to pursue new ways to more effectively support more people and communities," said NFF chief executive Antony Bugg-Levine. "That said, we are also hearing intense worry among nonprofit leaders on behalf of the people they serve."

“NFF Survey: Nonprofits Are Challenged, Creative, Unwavering.” Nonprofit Finance Fund Press Release 05/09/2018.
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