Our State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey is a widely cited barometer of US nonprofits' programmatic, management, and financial health. We gather, analyze, share, and drive dialogue about this critical data.

The 2018 Survey is now closed - check back in late spring for the results!

Key findings from the 2015 Survey

State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey

Data for Change

The 2018 Survey is now closed. Thank you to all who participated! Check back here in late spring for the results.

NFF’s Survey reaches out to thousands of nonprofits about their programmatic, financial, and operational issues, and analyzes the dynamics underlying their responses. Gathering and sharing this critical data – aggregated by sub-sector, organization size, geography, and other factors – is a major pillar of our commitment to unlock the potential of mission-driven organizations by sharing accessible insights.

When we launched the Survey in 2009, economic crisis threatened the viability of many organizations. In 2015, despite the US economic recovery, nonprofit leaders continued to voice concerns about succession planning, workforce retention, and financial sustainability. As one respondent put it: “Although we manage to keep our financial heads above water – our greatest challenge is the uncertainty and constancy of operating on such a knife edge.”

For many today, that knife edge feels even thinner. Now more than ever, the country needs to understand what's at stake.

Questions? Email

Among the 2015 Survey’s key findings:

Under-resourced communities are going without because nonprofits can't meet demand.

76% of nonprofits reported an increase in demand for services—the 7th year that a majority have reported increases.
52% couldn't meet demand—the third year in a row that more than half of nonprofits couldn't meet demand.
Of those who reported that they could not meet demand, 71% said that client needs go unmet when they can't provide services.

US economic recovery hasn't resolved nonprofits’ systemic and funding challenges.

Ended 2014 with a surplus
Reported 3 months or less of cash-on-hand
Collaborated with other organizations to improve or increase services offered

For more about the 2015 Survey

Overview: findings & analysis

Data: NFF's Survey Analyzer

National results summary

Arts edition summary

Press release

2015 Survey Partners


Report: Closing the Resource Gap - Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector in California

The State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey operates on a three-year schedule.
Questions? Email

NFF thanks the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for generously supporting the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey since 2010. The 2018 Survey is also generously supported by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, BKD CPAs & Advisors, and Asian Pacific Community Fund.

Explore the data yourself

Our 2015 NFF Survey Analyzer allows you to investigate questions that cut across sub-sectors, budget size, geography and other dimensions.

View the Analyzer