Current Conditions Report

Nonprofit Current Conditions Report
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December 2010

In December 2008, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) conducted the first Current Conditions Survey, asking nonprofits throughout Minnesota how they were experiencing the economic recession. MCN has continued to conduct these surveys biannually and this is the fifth report on the results. Since the first report, the state’s economy, while still under tremendous strain, has begun to see markers of stabilization. The results of the survey reflect this leveling off within the nonprofit sector.

This report provides a real-time analysis of the changes that nonprofits have experienced in 2010. It analyzes how organizations are doing now compared to 2008 and 2009, and provides a longitudinal analysis of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector. The survey was conducted from November 23 to December 3, 2010 and was sent to approximately 2,000 nonprofits. It was completed by 436 organizations throughout Minnesota.

Executive Summary

The results of this survey suggests people continue to need more and more help from nonprofits, and for the most part those organizations have been able to rise to the challenge. Seventy-four percent of organizations reported increased service demands. This is up significantly from 2008 and 2009, when the numbers were 42 percent and 60 percent respectively. Still, more than seven out of ten nonprofits reported they were able to increase services to meet demand, up slightly from 2009.

People’s needs have not been limited to the basics of food and shelter. In particular, demand has been strong for the support nonprofits provide in mental health and crisis intervention. The increase in demand for mental health services highlights the effects this recession is having on the communities nonprofits serve beyond basic needs. In 2008, 40 percent of mental health and/or crisis intervention type nonprofits reported an increased demand. This number more than doubled in 2009 and continued to increase to 92 percent in 2010.

The need for legal, civil rights and/or crime related nonprofit services also saw a significant jump -29 percent between 2009 and 2010. Of concern, mental health, crisis intervention, legal, civil rights and/or crime related nonprofits have reported a decrease in individual contributions at a higher percentage than any other type of nonprofit, approximately 40 percent. Overall, 25 percent of nonprofits reported a decrease in individual contributions.

Food and housing related nonprofits continue to report an increase in demand for services (88 percent) and an increase in expenses (79 percent). These organizations also report the highest percentage of an increase in individual contributions this year, 58 percent, while overall 31 percent of all nonprofits reported an increase in individual contributions.


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