The Center for Non-Profits has released its annual survey of data regarding the changes, challenges, concerns and future expectations that are impacting the nonprofit community across the state.

There is some consistency in this year’s results as compared to previous years especially on the topic regarding the continuing demand for services offered by these organizations. It seems as if many of the same challenges continue, but at an increasing pace. In fact, 71% of the responding organizations reported that demand for their services has increased over the past year. And as you might expect, 77% anticipate the demand to continue to rise in the future.

Another consistent theme that was present this year as in previous years was the funding gap. While some organizations did acknowledge receiving more funding in 2017 over 2016, 56% reported that their expenses were higher than in previous years.  Not surprisingly, nearly two-thirds expect their expenses to rise again in 2018 - but less than half anticipate a corresponding increase in funding.  And so, as the survey notes, the funding gap continues.

Partnerships and collaborative efforts are also consistently growing based on previous years’ trends, many of those occurring between for profit and nonprofit organizations.

When asked to identify the key issues they faced in 2017, those who participated in the survey relayed these challenges, which are listed here based on percentage of responses ranked from highest to lowest:

  • The need for better branding or communications (53%)
  • Financial uncertainty (51%)
  • The need for a stronger board (45%)
  • Increased benefits/insurance costs (36%)
  • Inability to afford good staff (31%)
  • Increased demand for program service (28%)
  • The need to increase advocacy/public policy (28%)

Nonprofits continue to be resilient, innovative and persistent even though their overall outlook was less positive than last year. Replies went down from 53% to 44% this year among those who said they expected circumstances to improve.

Nonetheless, with demand growing and no changes on the horizon, nonprofits will continue to assume responsibilities for the populations they serve. But those in the for profit community must also act on their behalf, advocating for the nonprofit community and increasing their volunteer time and financial support to ensure that meeting the communities needs remains a top priority for us all.       

Link to the full survey at: http://www.njnonprofits.org/2018AnnualSurveyRpt.pdf