Thanks for contributing to the latest research on nonprofits!

We got a good response to our call to participate in the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2018 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey—thanks to all those who took the time to fill out the online survey.  This is a national survey with nearly 3,400 respondents from all 50 states, including 236 Washington state nonprofits (about 7% of the total sample).

The survey results are now available.  What can we learn from them?  Since we are your state association, here are a few highlights from the Washington data:

  • Overall, the financial picture for nonprofits improved considerably from 2016 to 2017, and respondents anticipate additional revenue growth in 2018. 59% of Washington state nonprofits surveyed reported an increase in individual gifts in 2017.
  • Many more nonprofits in Washington expanded programs (48%) and staff (53%) in 2017 than reduced programs (7%) and staff (9%).
  • 77% of survey respondents report that demand for their services increased in 2017, and 88% expect an increase in 2018. 53% report that they are unable to meet the demand for their services.
  • The top community need is affordable housing
  • Leadership diversity continues to lag in comparison to our population. 11% of board members are people of color and 15% of CEO/ED/MD positions are people of color, in comparison with census statistics indicating that 30% of the population of Washington are people of color.
  • Advocacy is on the rise: 32% reported engaging more formally in advocacy/policy in 2017, and 44% plan to do so in 2018.

I encourage you to explore the results more deeply.

I’ll close with a wonderful quote from a local leader featured in the survey summary:

We are resilient, and we are not subpar to for-profit organizations. In fact, we are typically more complex and harder to manage than a for-profit entity and we should be sought after for our best practices rather than being subjected to ‘bizsplaining.’  

-Leader of a human services nonprofit in Washington

About Laura Pierce 44 Articles
Laura Pierce is the Executive Director of Washington Nonprofits.