Charting the Path Forward
Bdo's 2020 nonprofit standards benchmarking survey
Now more than ever, we need our nonprofit organizations to be viable and continue their critical work. To help arm you with information to stay sustainable, we polled 200 nonprofit leaders on critical issues and benchmarks in our
annual Nonprofit Standards survey.
Here are the key trends we found:
Persevering in a Downturn
of Nonprofit 'Thrivers'
Nonprofits provide many of the boots on the ground that keep communities going in times of crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic. But they are still vulnerable to disruption. Following the outbreak in the United States, nonprofits took action to ensure the
safety of employees
and other stakeholders.
Download the report for organization revenue breakouts.
1. responding to covid-19
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Encouraged or required staff to work remotely
Limited or cancelled programs
Deferred or cancelled planned investments
COVID-19 IMMEDIATE RESPONSES
Technology has been a critical element in the nonprofit response to COVID-19. It’s helped enable both remote work and program delivery. But, lack of adequate tech may have limited some organizations, and all could be vulnerable to cyber risks.
2. using technology to adapt to change
Many organizations believe that technology limited their ability to respond to coronavirus.
Investing in New Tech
Top Goals of Tech Spend
of organizations are planning to invest in new technologies this year
of nonprofits say cybersecurity is a high/moderate challenge for boards
Improve operational efficiency (61%)
Improve the delivery of programs
and services (29%)
In addition to the pandemic, nonprofits need to contend with an even greater threat: a persistent economic downturn. Those that have no safety net and cannot adapt risk not being able to continue their missions.
3. Persevering in a Downturn
at this point
Level of Concern for Organization’s Financial Health
Amid all the economic disruption, nonprofit organizations are closely watching the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
4. election predictions
How will your revenues be affected by the results of the 2020 Presidential election?
How will your revenues be affected by the results of the 2020 presidential election?
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Republican is elected Democrat is elected
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As organizations are challenged in the coming year, there will be a shakeout of those that come out stronger and those that may be forced to abandon their mission. We asked nonprofits to assess their own performance and extracted the key qualities of “Thrivers.”
5. Secrets of Nonprofit ‘Thrivers’*
Funding & Investments
*Organizations self-identified as “thriving” prior to the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States.
They balance a
nonprofit heart and a
Most Thrivers have over 6 months of
net assets without restrictions (58%)
70% of Thrivers are investing in new technology this year
They vary their funders
and investments. Compared to "Sustainers" and "Strugglers,"
Individual contributions make up a bigger portion of Thrivers' funding mix
66% of Thrivers have a standardized policy on cost categorizations,
a thorough understanding of their overall indirect cost rate, and communicate
it to donors
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Fees for service make up a smaller average portion of their
Thrivers allocate more investments to cash
& cash equivalents
Nearly 1/4 say investing in technology is
their #1 priority
Most spend between 80-100% of expenditures on program-related activities (74%)
scope of work
Grantmaking & Giving Options
Health & Human Services Organizations
Colleges & Universites
Director of Finance
Report directly to one of these executives
BDO’s 2020 Nonprofit Standards Survey polled 200 representatives of nonprofit organizations across a variety of sectors and revenue groups.
The survey was fielded
by Market Measurement,
a market research consulting firm in February and March 2020. Supplementary data was collected
from over 2,000
nonprofit professionals during subsequent webinar presentations.
As organizations are challenged in the coming year, there will be shakeout of those that come out stronger and those that may be forced to abandon their mission. We asked nonprofits to assess their own performance and extracted the key qualities of “Thrivers.”
Nonprofit Standards is a national benchmarking survey of 200 nonprofit organizations across a variety of sectors, including health and human services, higher education, public charities and private and community foundations. The survey was fielded by Market Measurement, a market research consulting firm.
Nonprofit Standards includes drilldowns by annual revenue,
so readers have access to data from a narrower peer group.
Download our survey to learn more
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