Nonprofit Sector

Using Data for Change

May 9, 2018

NFF’s State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey is a major national effort that captures and shares real-time financial and operational data in a sector where data remains dangerously scarce. Launched in 2009, it quickly filled a gaping need, becoming a collective megaphone for nonprofits and a crucial evidence base for a wide array of sector funding discussions. Today, the Survey has grown to thousands of respondents and hundreds of distribution and outreach partners.

The 2018 Survey represents quantitative and qualitative responses from nearly 3,400 nonprofits of all sizes and missions, across 50 US states. Sharing our Survey data widely and freely is a critical pillar of NFF’s commitment to share accessible insights that help unlock the potential of mission-driven organizations.

Use our Survey Analyzer to explore the full database at an aggregate level or segmented by size, geographic, and other criteria. Here are some ways you can put the data to use:


  • Compare your nonprofit (or your grantee) to peer organizations across key work areas, sizes, geographies 
  • Inform brainstorming and planning around strategy, budgeting, prioritizing, collaborating
  • Support open discussions about community needs and the full costs of meeting them


  • Email for a copy of the Survey questions to share with your board members and staff; compare and discuss your responses


  • Nonprofit work can feel daunting. Dig into the data to be inspired by the spirit and examples of others across the sector


  • Cite real-time data in your campaigns and testimonies as well as your grant proposals


  • Explore dynamics of nonprofit work areas and geographies
  • Add data to lesson plans and academic papers


  • Use the Survey to open discussions on sometimes difficult topics
  • Make it visual: customize and download ready-to-use charts

Email if you’re looking for historical data or other analyses.

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