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Monday, April 7, 2014
Nonprofit Finance Fund 2014 State of the Sector Survey Results
By tutormentor2 @ 5:45 PM :: 5501 Views :: 1 Comments :: Article Rating :: Fund Raising Ideas
This information is being reposed from an email received today. Share the information with your board, supporters, volunteers and donors and work collectively with others to help overcome challenges to the sector.


Survey Results are in! Join a live webinar broadcast on April 24th, 2014

@ 2pm EST exploring key trends. Click here to register!

Dear Friends,                                                                                 

On the day we opened NFF's 2014 Annual Survey, a water main burst beneath an intersection near our New York office, shutting down public transit, flooding the street, and drying up taps in thousands of homes. A critical piece of the city's infrastructure had failed, creating a domino effect felt by those even miles away. Later that day, we learned of another threat to the city's infrastructure: a Human Services organization that responded to our survey, with hundreds of employees and exclusively serving a low income community, reported just one month of cash in the bank. To make ends meet, they were in a precarious balancing act of managing loans and delaying paying their bills. On top of that, community need for their services had increased significantly, and they weren't able to keep up with it.


Nonprofits like this one make up our country's hidden infrastructure, the social safety fabric that is as crucial as our water pipes and roads. This fabric often represents decades of investment by taxpayers, foundations, and consumers. It educates us, keeps us healthy, and catches us when we are most at risk.  And it has been pulled taut over the years in deference to other priorities, frayed, and is on the verge of tearing.


NFF's Annual Survey chronicles the challenges facing the nonprofit sector and calls out some of the targeted investments we can start to agree on as a society to salvage the considerable investment we have collectively made in our social infrastructure.  We believe that a coordinated intervention now will not only better prepare us for inevitable future economic crises; it can lead to a happier, healthier community for us all.

Below, we've included some of the high level findings from our survey, including the state of community need and strategies organizations are using to cope, innovate, and even grow in some cases. But this is only a fraction of the data we have available - here are some resources to learn more:

We hope you'll share the survey and your thoughts about the data with us and your community! Join our conversation at or Please email us at with any questions, thoughts, or needs.



Anjali, Tessa & Jen

Knowledge & Impact Team





The economic recovery is leaving behind many nonprofits and communities in need:

  • 80% of respondents reported an increase in demand for services, the 6th 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.

Nonprofits are working to bring in new money; in the next 12 months:

  • 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 & contracts, such as loans or other investments. 

41% of nonprofits named "achieving long-term financial stability" as a top challenge, yet:

  • More than half of nonprofits (55%) have 3 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. 

Nonprofits are taking wide-ranging steps to survive and succeed.

In the past 12 months:

  • 49% collaborated with another organization to improve or increase services.
  • 48% invested money or time in professional development.
  • 40% upgraded hardware or software to improve organizational efficiency.
  • 39% conducted long-term strategic or financial planning. 

Respondents said that more than 70% of their 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.


Full survey results, along with an interactive survey analyzer and a look at trends over the past six years, are available at!


Visit our blog Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn 

The 2014 State of the Sector Survey is generously supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

comment By DenisOsullivan @ Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:34 AM
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