Tuesday, 20 April 2010

US and UK leaders share optimism

The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s state of the sector survey was published in March. Over 1,300 nonprofits across the US responded. The headlines show that:

  • Only 18% expect to operate above break-even in 2010
  • 80% expect more demand for their services in the same period
  • 89% expect 2010 to be as difficult of more difficult than 2009.

In terms of income predictions, 59% expect income from government to fall. However predictions for individual giving and earned income are more optimistic with a majority saying that both will increase or stay the same.

61% have less than three months cash available but the fund also reports that nonprofits are strengthening their financial management and 52% have collaborated on the delivery of a programme with another nonprofit.

Looking particularly at those organisations which describe themselves as “lifeline” organisations, offering critical services to people in need, 56% expect to find 2010 harder than 2009 for their organisations and 64% don’t think they will be able to keep up with demand.

In spite of this picture, nonprofit leaders remain optimistic. The Fund reports how leaders have redesigned the delivery of services to create efficiencies and actively planned for future scenarios.

A very similar pattern emerged from the 2009 ACEVO pay survey (Press release here). Leaders showed that although they were finding the environment tough, and they expected worse to come, they remained optimistic about the long term future, and remained passionate about their jobs, with 90% saying they were happy in their role and 96% saying they would recommend working in the sector to others. The survey is now being sent to all ACEVO members and their chairs to complete for 2010.

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