Many nonprofits rely on individual donations to fund their missions, and the pandemic had an outsized effect on the sector.
But contrary to what we might expect during a challenging economic period, parts of the nonprofit sector have continued to thrive.
While nonprofits are still assessing the impact of COVID-19, the 2020 State of the Sector Report for North Texas from CNM (Center for Nonprofit Management), using data collection and analysis taken in the middle of the pandemic, provides a snapshot of how social impact organizations have fared:
• The number of public charities is growing: Between 2016-2020, the number in Dallas County grew by nearly 16%, compared to approximately 19% statewide and 14% in the U.S.
• But less than 5% are considered sizeable: Public charities with an operating budget of over $1 million make up only about 4.6% of those in North Texas. Over 80% in North Texas have income less than $50,000 per year.
• Assets among Dallas County nonprofits saw a marked increase: Dallas nonprofits experienced about a 23% increase in median assets. North Texas saw a rise of almost 16%, while the U.S. and Texas were closer to 5% and 6%, respectively.
• Revenues of Dallas County nonprofits outpaced the region: Median revenue of nonprofits in Dallas County was high. It grew faster (over 35%) than other North Texas counties between 2016-2020. North Texas saw an increase of about 27%, while the U.S. and Texas were closer to 16% and 20%, respectively.
•Three mission spaces comprise almost 75% of Dallas County nonprofits: Religion-Related, Human Services, and Education: This is consistent with North Texas, Texas, and the U.S. Human Services is the most prevalent mission space in Texas and the U.S.
The strong economy combined with the growth in companies moving to North Texas and the rise in the overall population powered the increase in giving. While this funding was needed due to the growing demand for services that public charities provide, even before COVID, having more and bigger nonprofits has not translated into slowing the growth rate of community issues.
The ability to serve the right people with the right services in the right way is critical for nonprofits to address social issues in a meaningful way.
A few years ago, CNM launched its innovative strategic data and technology services and found many nonprofits were not collecting the right program data if any at all. Of roughly 70 nonprofits, only 20% were gathering the right data. Moreover, many were challenged to interpret and act on it properly.
We believe this lack of accurate and appropriate data collection and analysis prevents nonprofits from effectively and efficiently responding to social issues.
If more corporations, foundations, and individuals shift social investment strategies to fund nonprofits committed to getting results, those in need will be helped in a much more meaningful and lasting way.
Tina Weinfurther, of Highland Park, is president and CEO of CNM (The Center for Nonprofit Management). Learn more at thecnm.org.
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