Teenagers Smiling in Group HugBlackbaud’s 2010 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey was released last month.  I had a chance to review the North American Survey results and arrived at some interesting conclusions. 

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Despite the economy, growth is not predicted to decline — 60% of the organizations surveyed expect their income and expenses to increase in 2011.  55% expected individual donations to increase in 2010.
  • Paid staff will likely continue to feel stretched — Over 70% expect the demand for services to increase, but 52% expect staff levels to remain flat.  
  • The use of unpaid volunteers to support program operations is almost nonexistent — Only 2-5% of jobs in in the areas of fundraising, marketing, grant writing, data, and accounting were staffed by volunteers, even though for the majority of paid employees, these duties are part of a larger set of responsibilities.
  • Organization websites are underutilized as a volunteer communication, motivation, and engagement tool — Only 50% report that volunteers are one of the primary groups who visit their website.  The largest group reported was contributors (79%).
  • Many programs are operating without a clear plan to mobilize support — 54% reported they have a branding/marketing strategy, but 29% (almost a third) report it is “in development,”  and 18% do not have a plan of any kind.  In addition, only 19% have a written online strategy (with 15% “in development”).

Although this may look like doom and gloom, it really isn’t.  The survey results point to some clear paths of opportunity and relatively simple ways to strengthen our work.  Does this data resonate with you? Think about ways to increase your community engagement to help you build your capacity. 
For a free copy of the report, click here.
A note about the respondents: Over 1,200 people were surveyed, representing nonprofit organizations in Canada and the US.  Most were from the healthcare industry (20%) and social services (16%).