A new survey by GuideStar, the national database of nonprofit information, indicates that 2004 is bringing charities some relief from economic hard times.
In its third annual nonprofit economic survey, GuideStar asked individuals associated with charitable organizations how their organizations fared financially during the first nine months of 2004 compared to the first nine months of 2003. Half of the nonprofit participants reported that contributions to their organizations had increased. Another 24 percent stated that contribution levels stayed the same, 23 percent indicated a decrease, and 4 percent did not know.
The results were remarkably similar throughout the country and for nonprofits working in all subject areas. Participants from extremely large nonprofits (annual expenditures of $20 million or more) were most likely to report that contributions had increased and least likely to say they had decreased.
The majority (71 percent) of respondents said that demand for their organization’s services had grown. Nonprofits in the Employment/Job-Related and the Youth Development categories had the greatest proportion of participants reporting increased demand. Organizations in the Diseases/Disorders/Medical Disciplines, Medical Research, and Social Science Research Institutes/Services areas had the smallest percentage of respondents reporting increased demand.
“GuideStar’s 2004 nonprofit economic survey is good news for charities,” said Robert G. Ottenhoff, GuideStar’s president and CEO. “It shows that, after some difficult years, things are improving for nonprofits. We need to keep in mind that although most people said contributions increased ‘modestly,’ the majority reported that demand for their organizations’ services grew ‘greatly,’ and that charities across the board are experiencing this upsurge in demand.”
About the Survey
GuideStar e-mailed 62,888 messages inviting GuideStar Newsletter subscribers associated with public charities and private foundations to participate in the survey; 4,292, or 7 percent, of these individuals took the survey on-line between October 13 and 27, 2004. The participants represented at least 3,767 (it was not possible to link approximately 11% of the respondents with specific organizations). The final survey report will be posted on the GuideStar Web site, www.guidestar.org, on December 2. To obtain an advance copy of the report or request survey results for a particular location, contact GuideStar’s director of communications, Suzanne Coffman, at email@example.com or (757) 229-4631.
GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, offers information about the programs and finances of more than 1 million IRS-recognized charitable organizations. GuideStar powers many on-line giving systems and distributes both free and subscription-based nonprofit data to grantmakers, nonprofits, donors, government charity regulators, and professionals serving the sector. To find out more about GuideStar services, go to www.guidestar.org.
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