Moving Forward: 2016 Not-for-Profit Sector Outlook

While nonprofit organizations have rebounded from the most crippling effects of the 2008 economic crisis, the recenty published State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey* shows many still have significant challenges ahead.

For the seventh year in a row, a majority of the more than 5,000 organizations surveyed reported that people — particularly those in low-income communities — are going without needed services because nonprofits can’t meet the demand.

  • 76% of respondents reported an increased demand for their services.
  • 52% (versus 56% in 2014) said they couldn’t meet the demand.
  • 71% of the organizations that couldn’t meet demand said clients’ needs go unmet when they can’t provide needed services.

In addition, many nonprofits continue to be hampered by insufficient funding and a lack of investment in long-term sustainability. More than half (53%) reported three months or less of cash on hand, and many organizations listed financial concerns as top challenges.

  • 32% cited long-term sustainability as a challenge.
  • 25% had concerns about their ability to offer competitive pay and/or retain staff.
  • 19% were concerned about raising enough funding to meet all expenses.

On a more positive note, financial indicators are improving for some nonprofits. Forty-seven percent of the organizations ended 2014 with a surplus, the highest percentage since 2008.

Nonprofits are also taking positive steps to invest in their futures.

  • 51% collaborated with another organization to increase or improve services.
  • 44% hired employees for new positions.
  • 33% upgraded computer hardware or software
  • 29% engaged in long-term strategic or financial planning.
* Conducted by the Nonprofit Finance Fund

If you have any questions about your nonprofit organization’s performance and plans for the future, please contact Warady & Davis LLP at (847) 267-9600.


This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and accordingly assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. ©2017