[INFOGRAPHIC] Nonprofit Health and Sustainability Benchmark Survey

Even though sustainability is somewhat of a buzzword in the sector, it is attainable by any nonprofit through just a few key metrics and internal processes.

We were curious whether or not the average nonprofit organization, and the sector as a whole, is on the road to sustainability.

So we surveyed 600 North American nonprofit organizations to see where they stand. The results of the survey can be found in the infographic below:

Methodology

  • The survey was open to the public between 2/28/17 and 3/6/17.
  • The survey consisted of the following questions:
    • Have you defined your top 3 organizational priorities for the current calendar/fiscal year?
    • Have you defined your top 3 organizational challenges for the current calendar/fiscal year?
    • Are job descriptions in place for every role in your organization?
    • Did your organization fully utilize a strategic plan last quarter?
    • Did your organization fully utilize a marketing plan last quarter?
    • Did your organization fully utilize a succession plan last quarter?
    • Did your organization fully utilize a fundraising plan last quarter?
    • Did your organization fully utilize a communications plan last quarter to make donors aware of planned giving opportunities?
    • Did your organization measure program impact last quarter?
    • Did the degree of impact increase?
    • Was that impact being reported/communicated externally?
    • Have 1/3rd of your volunteers given financially in the past year?
    • Have all of your board members pledged or given a gift in the past year?
    • Have 3/4ths of your staff given at personally meaningful levels in personally meaningful ways for the past year’s annual gift?
    • Number of months of operating cash on hand (excluding restricted funds)
    • How many total hours were volunteered last quarter?

The Data

  • 77% have defined their top 3 organizational priorities for the current calendar/fiscal year
  • 66% have defined their top 3 organizational challenges for the current calendar/fiscal year
  • 78% have job descriptions in place for every role in their organization
  • 46% fully utilized a strategic plan last quarter
  • 35% fully utilized a marketing plan last quarter
  • 16% fully utilized a succession plan last quarter
  • 62% fully utilized a fundraising plan last quarter
  • 28% fully utilized a communications plan last quarter to make donors aware of planned giving opportunities
  • 59% measured program impact last quarter
    • 47% of those who measured saw that impact increase
    • 49% of those who measured communicated that externally
  • 51% saw 1/3rd of their volunteers give financially in the past year
  • 59% saw all of their board members pledge or give a gift in the past year
  • 39% saw 3/4ths of their staff give at personally meaningful levels in personally meaningful ways for the past year’s annual gift
  • Number of months of operating cash on hand (excluding restricted funds):
    • Not sure: 28%
    • 1-3 months: 21%
    • 4-7 months: 21%
    • 8-12 months: 12%
    • 12+ months: 18%
  • Total hours were volunteered last quarter:
    • Not sure: 24%
    • 0-10: 4%
    • 11-50: 10%
    • 51-100: 19%
    • 101+: 43%

Takeaways

  • goal setters: most organizations have organizational priorities and challenges defined
  • know your role: most organizations have written job descriptions in place
  • not-so-future-proof: few organizations have a succession plan in place
  • what gets measured gets improved: almost half of those who measured impact saw that impact increase
  • pitching in: almost half of organizations reported at least 101 total hours volunteered last quarter
  • room for improvement: board giving is present in more than half of organizations, but just over a third reported healthy staff giving

How does your organization compare to these results? Let us know in the comments below!

Nonprofit Sustainability

Kristen Hay

Kristen Hay

Marketing Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Hay is the Marketing Manager at Bloomerang. She also serves as the Director of Communications for PRSA’s Hoosier chapter.
Kristen Hay
By |2018-04-05T14:23:36-04:00March 8th, 2017|Communicating Outcomes, Data, Nonprofit Management, Outcomes Measurement|

3 Comments

  1. Sophie W Penney March 13, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Hello Kristen,

    I’m wiring a blog post in which I refer to this infographic, but am wondering what led Bloomerang to focus on these particular metrics. Would you be willing to offer me some insight into the reasons for choosing these items?

  2. Molly Fulton June 7, 2017 at 9:36 am - Reply

    I am most alarmed that “not sure” was the top response for #15. Yikes. I think we do well on all these except having a well defined and actionable marketing/communications plan, but that’s one of the challenges of a small (one person) development shop that is also responsible for communications/marketing.

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