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2015
2015
STATE
OF THE NONPROFIT SECTOR
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Nonprofit
Finance Fund
2015
2015
STATE OF THE
NONPROFIT SECTOR
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Note: this page's charts reflect only organizations meeting these criteria:
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TOC
TABLE OF CONTENTS
No respondents meet the current set of filters.

Nonprofit Finance Fund thanks the
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
for generously supporting the Survey since 2010.

Special arts portion of survey generously supported by the
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Total
Respondents
5,451
Serving low-income communities
67%
Of total respondents
Responses
from
50 States & Puerto Rico
A nationwide effort
Total Respondents in this filtered set
XXXX
Total Respondents in the Survey
5451
Total Respondents in filtered set
XXXX
Total Respondents in filtered set
XXXXX
Total Respondents in the Arts Sector
919
Total Respondents in filtered set
XXXX
Continuing trend
76%
reported increased demand
Top community need
Affordable Housing
also top need in 2014
When NPOs can't serve
71%
reported client needs go unmet
Top challenges
Sustainability & Staff Retention
Collaborated
51%
to improve/increase services
Received funding
39%
requiring outcomes measurement / achievement
Cash is not the same as liquidity
Having cash doesn't necessarily mean that it's available for use.
Calculating months of unrestricted liquid net assets (ULNA) is a good measure for
what's actually available to pay the bills.
Click here to see how to calculate your ULNA.
Use reserves
23%
to manage payment delays
Gov't payment delays
Illinois
among the worst
Plan to replace
25%
federal gov't funding
Receiving funding
 
35%
contingent on outcomes
Funders rarely/never fund
69%
impact measurement costs
Use metrics to make decisions
81%
What are the right...
Kinds of Capital
...to match NPO needs?
Click here to learn more.
Most funding sources...
never or rarely
...cover the full cost of programs
NPOs primarily used...
Debt as a Tool
...to manage gaps/unevenness
in revenue
Learn about
Nonprofit Financing
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Survey Results for Previous Years
Previous years' results for the State of the Sector surveys, all the way back to the first one in 2009, are available by clicking here.
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ABOUT THE SURVEY

When the recession hit in 2008, we at Nonprofit Finance Fund saw a ripple of trauma spread across the nonprofit sector. Communities were suffering, leading to compounding challenges for the people and organizations dedicated to serving them. Yet collective efforts to understand the extent of that suffering were decentralized and largely anecdotal. We asked ourselves: how could NFF activate the community into a collective response? We recognized that we needed to be more rapid and systematic in how we sourced and shared information about what nonprofits and the communities they serve needed most. We also hoped to shift the dialogue towards finding solutions. Finally, we sought to blend our heart-felt reactions to what our clients were facing with a more unbiased point of view, challenging personal observations by gathering inclusive data.

Thus began NFF’s Annual State of the Sector Survey, which gathers anonymous data on the trends, challenges, and strategies of the nonprofit community. Nonprofit leaders have come to view the survey as a collective organizing effort and an important loudspeaker for the sector, taking great care to share their story with the field. Our Survey is a knowledge-building effort intended to combine practical advice, research, and social change. And we’ve made progress over the years: click here to see how the survey has been used by nonprofits, funders, and advocates to support organizational and system-wide change.

A special thanks to the more than 8,000 participating nonprofits and our many survey partners, who have all made the survey possible over the 6 years that we’ve been doing this. If you’re a nonprofit, funder, advocate, or umbrella organization, please email us at survey@nff.org if you’d like to participate or support our efforts in 2015!

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ABOUT NFF AND THE SURVEY

Contact us at survey@nff.org

Have a press inquiry, question, or interest in supporting our survey in the future as a participant or sponsor? Please email us at survey@nff.org.

For all other questions, feel free to call or contact us at any of our local offices.

About NFF

Nonprofit Finance Fund® (NFF®) unlocks the potential of mission-driven organizations through tailored investments, strategic advice, and accessible insights. Our mission is to help great organizations stay in balance, so that they’re able to adapt to changing financial circumstances and grow and innovate when they’re ready. (To learn more, visit nff.org!) When the recession hit in 2008, we saw a ripple of trauma spread across the nonprofit sector. Communities were suffering, leading to compounding challenges for the people and organizations dedicated to serving them. We asked ourselves: how could NFF activate the community into a collective response, help source solutions, and blend our heart-felt reactions to human experiences with a more unbiased point of view? Thus began our Annual State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, which gathers anonymous data on nonprofit challenges and strategies. Leaders have come to view the survey as a loudspeaker for the sector, taking great care to share their story. Our Survey is intended to combine practical advice, data, and action: click here to see how the survey has been used by nonprofits, funders, and advocates to support change.

NFF’s deepest thanks to the thousands of participating nonprofits and our many survey partners, who have all made the survey possible over the last 7 years. Click here to see previous years’ results. If you’re a nonprofit, funder, advocate, or umbrella organization, please email us at survey@nff.org if you’d like to participate in the future!

Special Features in 2015

  • Arts, Culture, and Humanities Feature: we’ve included additional responses unique to arts & culture nonprofits. When filtering, you can select the ‘arts, culture, and humanities’ sector to see a drop-down of subsectors.
  • Trends over Time: see our display of responses to the same questions over time.
  • Compare: use the "Compare" tab to see how a filter you select compares to the national results.
How to Use this Analyzer

The Survey Analyzer is an online resource that anyone can use to filter our 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. We created this filtering tool to open up access, give people a chance to focus on what’s most relevant for them, and reveal variations between different groups of nonprofits. For example, are the challenges of government funding different from state to state? Do organizations serving low-income communities face different problems than their counterparts?

But data alone doesn’t provide definitive answers; instead, it can help nonprofits, supporters, researchers, and others ask better questions, shape dialogue, and challenge their assumptions about what nonprofits need to continue their work building healthier communities.

How to Filter

  • Click the categories you'd like to filter by. (Options include sector, geography, size, and more.)
  • Check the options you’re interested in focusing in on. (Interested in New York or Minnesota?)
  • Then click Apply Filters to see the results.
  • To reset, select Clear All Filters
  • Use the "Compare" tab to see how a filter you select compares to the national results.

Individual charts can be downloaded as a picture by clicking on the 'Download' link in the upper right hand corner of each chart.

Credits

  • Producer: Anjali Deshmukh, NFF
  • Engineer: David F. Sklar
Export/Download High-Resolution Image

Below is a thumbnail fragment of a HIGH-RESOLUTION image of the chart. To download the complete high-resolution image, just right-click on the image and perform a "Save as..." to your local file system.