An Eventful Year for the Not-for-Profit Community

2020 has been quite a year. As it comes to a close, there are many lessons that not-for-profits can take away from everything that occurred over the last twelve months.

In an effort to help not-for-profits learn from the year, the Financial Commons—a joint initiative of Nonprofit Quarterly, Propel Nonprofits, and FMA—surveyed not-for-profit leaders regarding the financial and programing challenges they faced in 2020. In a recent article from Nonprofit Quarterly, authors Jeanne Bell and Ruth McCambridge compiled a list of key findings from the survey.

  1. Impact of Big Events – The survey asked how not-for-profits were impacted by four significant events. Responses showed the following effects: 82% felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic a great deal, 54% felt the economic downturn, 45% felt the movement for racial justice, and 31% felt the national election.
  2. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – 70% of respondents participated in the PPP in 2020.
  3. Revenue Performance – Responses regarding revenue performance in 2020 were quite evenly split: 28% saw a revenue increase, 28% saw no increase or decrease, 23% saw a decrease of 1-15%, and 21% saw a decrease of 16% or more. Greater variation can be seen when the data is split by sector with many not-for-profits in the advocacy and human services areas seeing flat or increased revenue while more than half of not-for-profits in the arts sector experienced significant revenue decreases.
  4. Ability to Adapt – Across the board, responses showed that not-for-profits adapted to changed circumstances in the areas of both programming and fundraising.

For further details regarding the survey results, click here to read the article in full at Nonprofit Quarterly.