The nonprofit sector continues to grow, despite the economic downturn and sluggish recovery.  The Urban Institute’s The Nonprofit Almanac 2012 by Katie L. Roeger, Amy S. Blackwood, and Sarah L. Pettijohn indicates that the number of nonprofits grew by 24% from 2000 to 2010, and their growth in revenue was even more striking at 41%.  Nonprofits contributed $804.8B to the U.S. economy in 2010, representing 5.5% of GDP.  Perhaps more important, nonprofits now employ 10% of the U.S. workforce, meaning one in every 10 working adults now finds meaningful employment at nonprofit organizations.  This growth in nonprofit influence is fueled in part by a rising demand for services as the recession fueled drop in wages and employment for Middle America feeds the ever-growing income disparity gap between the rich and the rest.Read more

As 2014 gets underway, predictions abound.  With full knowledge that “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” we offer the following ideas for nonprofits to ponder this year and beyond.  Trend One: With the Continued Growth of the Nonprofit Sector, Individual Donors Will Become More Important.  The nonprofit sector is growing in both size and influence, government cutbacks are negatively impacting nonprofit funding and corporate funding, while growing, is a mere 6% of total contributions. Nonprofits wishing to survive and thrive in this uncertain and unsustainable economic climate will have to rely heavily on individual donors.  Identifying, involving and integrating these individuals into partnerships to help solve our most pressing problems will be the challenge of 2014.  Nonprofits will need to understand their donors and supporters on a different level – go beyond wealth and beyond demographics – to dig deep into the psyche and motivations of their constituents.  Read more

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