Many Minnesota Nonprofits Living on the Financial Edge

The Nonprofit Finance Fund recently released its annual State of the Sector survey results, addressing the question of how nonprofits are faring as the economy continues its slow recovery. More than 4,500 nonprofits completed the survey nationwide, including 257 from Minnesota. The survey results tell a story of a sector still stretched thin, with organizations feeling distant from their funders.

Seventy-six percent of Minnesota nonprofits saw an increase in demand in 2011 and 82 percent expect an increase in demand this year. (Nationwide, 85 percent of nonprofits saw increased demand in 2011 and 88 percent expect a demand increase in 2012.) At the same time, 67 percent of Minnesota nonprofits have 3 months or less of cash on hand, and 88 percent don’t expect their financial outlook to get any better in 2012.

Many Minnesota nonprofits also report they cannot have open dialogue with funders about a variety of topics, especially financial issues. While 50 percent reported they can have open dialogue about program expansion, only 26 percent said they could dialogue openly about facility needs, 23 percent for operating reserves. Just 11 percent felt able to discuss building reserves. Twenty-seven percent reported they could not have open dialogue with funders about any of the listed options.

Join the conversation: How can funders help nonprofits build their own financial safety net?

- Anne Bauers, MCF research manager

Image source: Nonprofit Finance Fund, State of the Sector Survey, 2012

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