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Survey Shows Nonprofits Challenged by Fundraising

WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - July 18, 2003) - Fundraising is the biggest challenge nonprofits are facing, according to a new survey.

Eighty-one percent of nonprofits said fundraising was a 'very significant challenge' in a survey by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies and its partner organizations in the new Nonprofit Listening Post Project. For museums and theaters, the figure reached 90 percent, for children and family agencies, 87 percent, and for community and economic development agencies, 72 percent.

The Listening Post Project is an ongoing project designed to survey and communicate with nonprofits across the United States in an ongoing effort to assess the health of the nonprofit sector. In its first survey, the project sought background information on the nonprofits as well as an assessment of the major challenges nonprofits are facing today and what information they feel they need to meet such challenges.

In the survey results, released July 10, a high number of nonprofits said they are feeling stress from government funding cuts, adding to existing worries over the economy. Sixty-three percent of respondents rated local, state or federal government budget cuts as a 'very significant challenge.'

'These pressures are directly affecting client services,' said Katie Sloan, senior vice president for member services of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. 'Nonprofit aging service providers are having to turn away clients, reduce staff and/or dip into reserves.'

Third on the list of very significant challenges was the rising cost of healthcare benefits - 61 percent of respondents called this a 'very significant challenge.'

When questioned what type of information they needed most, the most frequent answer was information on private fundraising strategies. Thirty-one percent of respondents said this was the 'most valuable' type of information they could use. The nonprofits also wanted information on performance measurement techniques and basic financial trends and access to capital.

For more information, visit the Listening Post Project website.

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