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Signs of Recovery Among US NFPs – Survey

Thursday, 10th February 2011 at 11:58 am
Staff Reporter
A US survey by Not for Profit organisation Bridgespan shows more than 50% of organisations are reporting an increase in revenue in 2010.

Thursday, 10th February 2011
at 11:58 am
Staff Reporter



Signs of Recovery Among US NFPs – Survey
Thursday, 10th February 2011 at 11:58 am

A US survey by Not for Profit organisation Bridgespan shows more than 50% of organisations are reporting an increase in revenue in 2010.

Bridgespan reports that in the face of a persistently tough economy and rising demand for services, there are some encouraging signs surfacing in the US Not for Profit sector.

Its survey of Not for Profit executive directors found that half of the 102 organisations responding had seen their revenues begin to creep back up in the past year.

As well 60% say they are actively looking for newly available talent, compared with only 31% last year.

According to Alan Tuck, the Bridgespan partner heading up the survey work,Not for Profits are working hard to try to stay afloat and meet the demand.

Tuck says whether the improvements they have witnessed in the sector constitute the beginning of a rebound or merely show a temporary reprieve from the economic storm remains to be seen.

He says what is clear though, is that despite the challenges, some groups not only are surviving, but they are also experiencing growth and thriving.

The survey found that:

  • 84% of organisations surveyed have seen an increase in demand for their services since the start of the recession compared with 58% in November 2009 and just 30% in November 2008.
  • Among direct service NFPs, in the past year 73% increased the number of people they serve, while 70% increased the levels of service provided.
  • Only 32% of organisations received funding cuts in 2010, compared to 80% in 2009; of those, only half experienced cuts greater than 10%, compared to 2009 when 77% of funding cuts were greater than 10%.
  • Half of the NFPs surveyed have seen their revenue increase in the past year, although growth has been distributed unevenly, with smaller organizations having a harder time.
  • For those organisations experiencing growth, almost two thirds (63%) saw revenue increase by 10% or more while 29% experienced growth of 20% or more.
  • Organisations that experienced growth also used a common set of management tactics.

They were:

  • 36% more likely to create a communication plan to address recession related issues
  • 23% more likely to increase efforts to accurately measure outcomes
  • 23% more likely to develop a contingency plan
  • 22% more likely to collaborate on programs of other organisations

Bridgespan was founded in 2000 and incubated at Bain & Company, to help Not for Profit and philanthropic leaders to make strategic decisions and to build organisations that inspire and accelerate social change. 


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