Demand for critical services provided by nonprofit organizations continues to climb despite signs the economy is on the mend, the seventh annual State of the Sector survey from the Nonprofit Finance Fund finds.
According to the 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, 76 percent of the fifty-four hundred nonprofits surveyed reported an increase in demand for their services, while 52 percent said they couldn't meet the demand — the third consecutive year in which that figure was more than 50 percent. Of those respondents unable to meet demand for their services, 71 percent said that client needs go unmet when they are unable to provide services. Respondents also identified a variety of critical needs in their communities, including affordable housing (35 percent), youth development (26 percent), job availability (23 percent), job training (16 percent), access to health care (21 percent), and access to strong, well-performing schools (19 percent).
Funded in part by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, a longtime NFF partner, the survey also found that 76 percent of respondents ended 2014 at break-even or with a surplus, and that respondents identified the top three challenges facing nonprofits as long-term sustainability (mentioned by 32 percent of respondents), ability to offer competitive pay (25 percent), and raising enough to cover operating costs (19 percent).
"The social sector is in flux, with many organizations moving beyond 'crisis mode' but still facing an uncertain future," said Nonprofit Finance Fund CEO Antony Bugg-Levine. "Nonprofits need access to the right kinds of resources to allow them to adapt and meet their missions. Relying on business-as-usual approaches from government contracts and private donations is not going to sustain the social system in the long term."