Nonprofit Finance Fund Survey Points to Tough Road Ahead

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April 7, 2014; Nonprofit Finance Fund

What the Nonprofit Finance Fund found in its 2014 annual survey of the financial state of nonprofits suggests that nonprofits are experiencing increased need for the sixth straight year and that need is expected to persist. Additionally, a record number of nonprofits are unable to meet that need.

Here are the topline results for the survey of more than 5,000 organizations. We will take a deeper look tomorrow.

  • 80% of respondents reported an increase in demand for services, the sixth straight year of increased demand.   
  • 56% were unable to meet demand in 2013—the highest reported in the survey’s history.  
  • Only 11% expect 2014 to be easier than 2013 for the people they serve.
  • 31% will change the main ways in which they raise and spend money.
  • 26% will pursue an earned income venture.
  • 20% will seek funding other than grants and contracts, such as loans or other investments.
  • 55% of nonprofits—more than half—have three months or less cash-on-hand. 
  • 28% ended their 2013 fiscal year with a deficit.  
  • Only 9% can have an open dialogue with funders about developing reserves for operating needs, and only 6% about developing reserves for long-term facility needs.
  • More than 70% of respondents’ funders requested impact or program metrics.
  • 77% agreed that the metrics funders ask for are helpful in assessing impact.
  • Only 1% reported that funders always cover the costs of impact measurement; 71% said costs were rarely or never covered.

—Ruth McCambridge