Report: Nonprofits Face Challenges in Worker Stress, Public Trust and Donor Participation
The health and future of the nonprofit sector – and its people – could be in jeopardy if changes are not made, reveals the "Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Annual Review."
“As our latest report makes clear, while the sector is surviving, it is not thriving," said Dr. Akilah Watkins, president and CEO of Independent Sector. "Our sector needs to thrive so that the communities we serve can flourish.”
“Working with Independent Sector is an excellent opportunity to welcome a national lens on local, innovative social justice and equity solutions for the nonprofit sector and beyond,” said Tony Fleo, CEO of Social Venture Partners Dallas. “Our partnership with Independent Sector will inform our thinking throughout the year and on the bigBANG! stage, which will return in 2024.”
The report covers sector health data, as well as Independent Sector’s analysis from 2022 through the second quarter of 2023. It provides a high-level snapshot of the state of the nonprofit sector, illustrating how donor behavior, staff mental health, public trust, and advocacy are inextricably tied together.
Key findings from the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Annual Review:
- Nonprofits are a vital part of the U.S. economy: Nonprofits contributed $1.4 trillion to the economy in 2022 and comprised 5.6% of the U.S. GDP. Nonprofits shape policies and provide vital services to local communities — from health care and higher education to environmental stewardship and human services.
- Workers lack adequate support: The sector’s most important component, its people, are financially stressed: 20% of nonprofit workers struggled to afford basic necessities in 2021. Inadequate financial and social support, particularly regarding caregiving responsibilities, may be contributing to high rates of burnout and workforce shortages — especially for women and mothers.
- Social capital is at risk: Despite nonprofits being among the most trusted institutions in America, public trust in nonprofits has declined: 52% of the U.S. public reported trusting nonprofits in 2023, down 7 percentage points from 2020. This decline has outpaced that of any other institution, including the federal government. Combined with a 10% decrease in nonprofit donors in 2022, this shows that people are disengaging from nonprofits.
- Nonprofits opt out of systemic solutions: Nonprofit action as advocates is required to develop long-term solutions to these issues, but the report notes just a small portion of the sector engages in advocacy work. Only 31% of nonprofits reported advocating or lobbying in 2022, a significantly smaller percentage than 20 years ago, making it more difficult to successfully address the major issues undermining the health of U.S. nonprofits.
Download the report here.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of NonProfit PRO.