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.


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