This page lists recent articles, reports, and data of interest to nonprofits. We will continue to add fresh information about charitable nonprofits, so we invite you to bookmark the page and return regularly. Also, you can find more resources our main website under Research, Reports, and Data on the Nonprofit Sector.
Strengthening State and Local Economies in Partnership with Nonprofits: Principles, Recommendations, and Models for Investing Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (National Council of Nonprofits, April 2022). This third edition of our Special Report provides the latest federal guidance and fresh examples from across the country of the successful use of ARPA's $350 billion in "CSLFRF" funds. The Special Report has been serving as a guide for governments, charitable nonprofits, and foundations on investing these funds to help communities respond, adapt, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new edition, released April 2022, includes new sections on effective nonprofit advocacy campaigns and examples of how foundations can strengthen and support the equitable distribution of ARPA funds.
The Scope and Impact of Nonprofit Workforce Shortages (National Council of Nonprofits, December, 2021). Charitable nonprofits from across the country have reported significant difficulties retaining staff and filling vacancies in the last half of 2021. The networks of the National Council of Nonprofits surveyed more than 1,000 nonprofits from all 50 states to determine the scope and impact of these difficulties. This analysis presents a robust picture of the impact of workforce shortages on the ability of charitable nonprofits to advance their missions. What was initially considered a challenge has now become a workforce crisis in need of rapid remedy and long-term commitment to overcoming pre-existing problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonprofit Trends and Impacts 2021: National Findings on Diversity and Representation, Donation Trends from 2015-2020, and Effects of 2020 (Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute, October 2021). This nationally representative survey of nonprofit organizations, fielded January-April, 2021, focused on operating 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The report covers giving trends and how they were affected by the events of 2020, geographic and demographic characteristics of the people and communities that nonprofits serve across the U.S., and the demographic diversity and representation of nonprofits’ staff and leadership. For various reasons, hospitals, schools, higher-education institutions, churches and other houses of worship, and certain other organizations were excluded from the sample.
Data on How the Pandemic and Economic Crises Are Affecting Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits, 2020, 2021). Many state-level surveys and polls have been conducted, and in some cases, reports written, providing data from the field on how COVID-19 and the related economic crisis are affecting nonprofits. In addition, there are some nationwide and regional surveys and reports that provide insights. We gathered the state and national data here and will update the page when we discover new data of interest.
COVID-19’s Impact on the Human and Social Services Sector (U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, October 2020). This report provides an overview, data, and analysis of the nonprofit sector’s critical role in recovery and how secondary effects of the pandemic have resulted in threats to its services and survival. It focuses on FEMA Region 3: DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV.
On the Frontlines: Nonprofits Led by People of Color Confront COVID-19 and Structural Racism (Building Movement Project, October 2020). BMP’s latest report shines a spotlight on how 2020’s social upheavals are affecting people of color-led (POC) nonprofit organizations and their communities, programs, leadership, and financial sustainability.
The Big Reset (Leap of Reason, September 2020). Drawing on decades of experience and countless conversations with leaders, Leap of Reason author Mario Morino and his team created The Big Reset, a new website providing guidance and resources for nonprofits and funders as we face months – possibly years – of dramatically increased demand for services at the same time as significant funding decreases from a variety of sources. Excellent roundup of strategy, reports, and resources.
Check the Fundraising Effectiveness Project for the latest quarterly and annual reports on fundraising data, based on giving to more than 25,000 participating nonprofits. Make sure you read the related Methodology Update from Giving Tuesday (December 2021).
An event or an era? Resources for social sector decision-making in the context of COVID-19 (Monitor Institute, July 2020). The COVID-19 crisis has created a moment of hyper-uncertainty for social sector organizations. No one knows how the future will unfold, but the tools of scenario planning can help social sector leaders better prepare their organizations for the different, possible futures that may unfold.
“Think Outside The Box: How Stakeholders Can Help Nonprofits Face The Challenge of COVID-19” (SeaChange Capital Partners, June 2020). SeaChange Capital Partners has released a series of solid reports on how nonprofit can navigate the post-pandemic environment.
The Building Movement Project (BMP) has released Race to Lead Revisited: Obstacles and Opportunities in Addressing the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap (June 2020). This is the first report based on data collected last summer from over 5,000 nonprofit staff from across the sector.
Nonprofit Association of Oregon’s 2020 State of the Sector Report (March, 2020) is designed to provide current and easily accessible data on the health of the public benefit nonprofit sector in Oregon.
Causes Count 2019: The Economic Power of California's Nonprofits (November 2019). This report presents the latest research on the economic impact of California’s large and economically powerful nonprofit sector, which continues to be an important driver for both jobs and community well-being. Causes Count 2019 was produced as a partnership between The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego and the California Association of Nonprofits.
Changes to the Giving Landscape, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (October 2019), analyzes effects of the 2008 Great Recession on charitable giving across various donor demographic groups and examines differences pre- and post-recession.
In Major Gaps in Training and Coaching Hobble Nonprofit Success (Chronicle of Philanthropy, September 6, 2019), leaders of Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative discuss the importance of nonprofit infrastructure. As they say, “Though such investments may not always be flashy or glamorous, they’re critical to ensuring that nonprofits have a strong foundation for their work.” When they asked leaders to identify the greatest needs, they heard: “policy advocacy, especially at the state and local levels; governance; technology; financial management, planning, and literacy; equity and diversity; and professional development, particularly for young and midlevel staff.”
Ending the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle, a report and related articles by foundation leaders (The Bridgespan Group, September 2019). Working with five foundations, Bridgespan identified persistent chronic underfunding problems among the 15 largest foundations that threaten the financial health of grantees - and identified possible solutions.
It’s September: Do You Know Where Your Donors Are? First Half of 2019 Shows Donor Drop, Nonprofit Quarterly (September 2019). This article reports that the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2019 Second Quarter Report continues to show alarming declines in number of donors and dollars raised, a trend that NPQ warned about in an earlier article based on Giving USA’s 2018 data.
Quarterly Fundraising Report Second Quarter 2019, Fundraising Effectiveness Project (September 2019). The Project’s 2019 Second Quarter Report continues to show decreases in the number of donors and other key indicators of charitable giving.
New Hampshire's Nonprofit Sector in Brief, NH Center for Nonprofits (August 2019). This report highlights the economic impact of New Hampshire’s nonprofits, as well as the diversity of New Hampshire’s nonprofit sector and the value of volunteerism.
When the Best Offense is a Good Defense (ORS Impact, June 2019) reveals the truth that most policy advocates know: “[T]hat a ‘win’ can mean avoiding a disadvantageous policy or holding the line on past wins.” Indeed, more often than not, advocacy for a sector or subsector is defensive in nature – stopping, deflecting, avoiding bad policy proposals.
Jon Pratt, “The True Story of Nonprofits and Taxes,” Nonprofit Quarterly (Spring 2019). The article presents data showing that while nonprofits received $137 billion in tax preferences from exemptions and deductions, nonprofits paid about $247 billion in taxes and fees to various governmental entities.
Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector (Building Movement Project, February 2019). This report reveals that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color.
Americans for the Arts, Data and Reports on the Economic Impact of the Arts. A collection of studies and publications regarding the economic impact of the arts and culture.
BoardSource, Leading with Intent. Provides the results of a bi-annual survey and analyzes trends and insights about today’s nonprofit boards.
BoardSource, et al., Stand for Your Mission – Discussion Guide for Boards on the Power of Board Advocacy. Explains the expectation that nonprofit board members will engage in the advocacy to advance the missions of their organizations.
Building Movement Project, Race to Lead. A series of surveys and reports on the racial leadership gap in the nonprofit sector.
Giving USA Foundation, Giving USA. Annual report on charitable giving by individuals, foundations, and corporations, broken down by subsector and other factors.
Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, Nonprofit Works. Provides data on nonprofit employment, establishments, and wages.
Nonprofit Finance Fund, 2018 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. Shares data about nonprofits' programmatic, operational, and financial health and the challenges nonprofits face.
Open Impact, The New Normal: Capacity-Building in a Time of Disruption. Explores how the current economic and political environment is impacting the capacity building needs of social-change leaders, nonprofits, networks, and movements, and how funders can better support this work going forward.
The Salvation Army, Human Needs Index. Provides regularly updated national, state, and regional indicators that, unlike other traditional income-based measures of poverty, represent need based on consumption rather than income alone.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Research Data on the Nonprofit Sector. Source of the latest official information on employment and wages in the nonprofit sector.
United for ALICE. Provides national, state, and county-level data on the more than four in ten households in the United States unable to stretch their income to meet their household needs.
United Nations, Human Rights Council Report, May 4, 2018. Provides data from U.S. sources and evaluates the extent to which government policies and programs at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels relating to extreme poverty are adequate for meeting basic human rights obligations.
Urban Institute, National Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Almanac. Provides data on the size and scope of the nonprofit sector.
Image at top of page: Volunteers with the League of Women Voters help register people to vote who have just become naturalized citizens in Anchorage, Alaska.