Standing Beside Alaska's Non-Profits

The Foraker Group Blog

Alaska’s nonprofit sector represents a wide variety of organizations that provide public service and have an impact on the lives of nearly everyone living in the state. Although most Alaskans do not think of nonprofits as an economic powerhouse, you know that we play a critical role in the state’s economy both as major employers and as revenue generators. No industry in Alaska can prosper without the nonprofit sector. We provide both a financial and social return on investment by leveraging public and private resources. We are part of the healthcare, utilities, fisheries, and oil and gas industries, and provide essential services such as firefighting, early child care, basic utilities, housing, and food security — just to name a few.

Nonprofits are the safety net across Alaska. Every Alaskan is the beneficiary of a nonprofit because our work is woven into the fabric our communities. At the same time, nonprofits can’t do all that needs to be done with diminishing support — financial or otherwise. When policy makers make financial decisions, create rules and regulations, or develop programs, we are consistently urging them to remember that every dollar cut from the nonprofit sector will result in higher costs in the long run. Indeed, each decision has an impact on the health of the sector and, thereby, the wellbeing of every Alaskan. It is a challenging time in our state — our resources are limited, our safety net is thin, and the tendency to cut rather than invest is high. Today, we can change that story.

Part of changing the story is to gather and share new and better information. To that end, we are excited to present the latest research on the economic impact of Alaska’s nonprofit sector. Every three years we embark on this analysis to better inform policy makers, industry, and nonprofit leaders about Alaska’s nonprofit sector. This is our fourth economic impact report. It required an enormous amount of research to produce because no single source exists for comprehensive data on the sector at either the state or federal levels. We are confident that we are using the best and most trusted sources available for both raw data and research from the field. Those sources include the IRS, State of Alaska Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Institute of Social and Economic Research, and our new partners at the Center for Economic Development, a program of the UAA Business Enterprise Institute. The data in this report is from 2015-2016, the last years when complete data sources were available. While we make every attempt to replicate the data from one report to another, the data sources do shift as better information is available.

New this year, the main report is written specifically for policy makers. This allows all of us to use the information with those who are making decisions about federal, state, and local government funding and policies that impact the sector. As a nonprofit leader, we want you to use this report in your work and in your conversations. For this purpose, we hope you will read the full report and spend some time with it. We are taking this report and additional information around the state to meet with nonprofit, business, and government leaders and, I hope, with you. Until then, here are some highlights.

Of course, we know people are curious about how many nonprofits we have so… drum roll… we now have 5,765 nonprofits in Alaska. In our last report, we noted that the number of nonprofit organizations in Alaska had fallen significantly between 2007 and 2013. In large part this was the result of a 2010 IRS rule that disbands nonprofits if they fail to submit the tax form 990 for three years in a row. (Note: religious congregations are exempt from this filing requirement.) While continued enforcement of the three-year rule is resulting in nonprofits dissolving, the introduction of the IRS nonprofit filing form 1023 EZ in 2014 simultaneously made it easier to form a nonprofit with roughly 99 percent of all applications accepted by the IRS. These two trends are offsetting each other, resulting in flat growth. New data shows that between 2013 and 2016, the total number of nonprofits in Alaska stayed about the same at roughly 5,700 organizations. Of these, the number of 501(c)(3) organizations decreased by about 350, offset by an increase in other nonprofit classes. The result is that one nonprofit exists for every 130 Alaskans as of 2016, compared to one for every 100 residents in 2010.

Far more important than how many nonprofits we have in our state is the impact of what they do. Given the state of Alaska’s economy, nonprofits are making changes today to increase that impact– becoming more creative, spurring innovation, and looking for efficiencies. In this report we highlight five ways that show how we’re doing our part.

  1. Nonprofits are a significant source of Alaska jobs. We often lose sight of this because nonprofits are not considered to be a single industry. When the state tracks jobs, it classifies them by industries – oil and gas, tourism, healthcare – not by the sector where the work originates – nonprofit, government, or for-profit. In fact, all three sectors are integrated, and a vibrant nonprofit community helps generate jobs, both directly and indirectly, in all the state’s industries. When nonprofits spend money on supplies, services, or payroll, it circulates around the state creating more jobs for Alaskans and their families. In 2015, nonprofits accounted for 17% of all employment in Alaska compared to 10% nationwide. The nonprofit sector directly employed 44,092 Alaskans. Counting indirect and induced effects, nonprofits were responsible for sustaining 66,700 jobs in the state. These jobs translate into $3.8 billion in total income generated by the sector that ripples through our communities.

If nonprofits were treated as their own industry, they would be the second largest source of non-government employment behind oil and gas in Alaska. Nonprofits are the largest source of employment in many rural communities. In three rural census areas in Western Alaska, nonprofits make up over 40% of all direct employment. Alaska’s major industries — oil and gas, mining, seafood, and the visitor industry — all benefit from nonprofit organizations. Industry and trade associations, convention and visitor bureaus, oil spill response organizations, and aquaculture associations are some examples of nonprofits making Alaska’s industries stronger.

 

2. While Alaska’s nonprofits are resourceful and innovative, and many struggle to meet the increasing demand for services as state and local governments cut programs and federal funding remains flat. Nonprofits are doing their best to carry out their critical role in the community. Their use of earned income, private philanthropy, and limited public resources is judicious. Every day nonprofits work to maximize and leverage each resource. This is a public/private partnership that must continue.

 

 

3. Nonprofits work hand-in-hand with government to deliver essential services. Federal, state, local, and tribal governments often contract with nonprofits to perform key responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Particularly in rural and unincorporated areas, nonprofit organizations deliver a variety of public services that are normally associated with government – like public safety, water and sanitation, fire service, and workforce development. This social safety net strengthens the fabric of Alaska communities. This is the time to infuse government resources into nonprofit organizations to maintain critical public services.

 

 

4. The economic engine of philanthropy from foundations, corporations, and individuals coupled with Alaska’s high rate of volunteerism has a powerful influence on programs, infrastructure, education, and jobs across Alaska. At the same time, local, state, and federal policies have a profound impact on philanthropy as does any financial investment from government. Each donation leverages another. We need to be realistic and excited about the possibilities for growth, while understanding that philanthropy alone cannot replace the role of government. To increase Alaska’s civic engagement and private investment, we need to work together to encourage — not stifle —philanthropy of all kinds.

 

5. Prosperous economies and healthy communities create a rich quality of life. As a partner to local governments and industry, Alaska nonprofits provide essential services like medical care, housing, and utilities. Nonprofits also bring us joy and purpose through art, religious and cultural expression, education, and recreation. Let’s celebrate nonprofits for caring for our people, our pets, and our planet. Together, we can foster healthier and more prosperous communities.

 

 

Nonprofits, like all other businesses, want a stable and healthy economy that ensures all of our communities thrive. Together we have an opportunity to strengthen the state through the nonprofit sector. As nonprofit leaders, we must be ready to work together to further strengthen what is already strong, and redesign what needs work. We must partner with government, business, and with each other to ensure healthy missions.

Again, I encourage you to use this report to stand for your mission and stand for the sector. Specifically:

  • Use the data to better understand the economic impact of Alaska nonprofits. Then do the math and apply the data to your own organization.
  • Use the stories in the report as a reminder that the sector is a place of innovation and opportunity if we nurture rather than stifle it. Then write your own story.
  • Engage with each other as nonprofit leaders and with government and industry partners in finding solutions to our common challenges and strengthening what works for Alaska. Then do it again and again.
  • Use your position and your voice to stabilize our safety net, secure points of leverage, and collaborate to maximize our resources. Then engage your team to do the same.
  • Ask for a stable, long-term fiscal plan for Alaska to ensure a vibrant place for all Alaskans to work, grow, and engage. Then celebrate.

Alaskans love to be unique, and this report highlights all the ways we can be proud of our work and of our impact on the state. I know each and every day, for every amazing story that we tell, there are unceasing hours of labor, determination, and perseverance. We know that great missions require intentional effort. We don’t always get it right, nobody does. What we hope for at Foraker is that we are learning, growing, and putting our tools to work. This report is one of those tools. We look forward to hearing how you use it.

The nonprofit sector is a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. We see the sector as the foundation for virtually all social and civil rights movements in our country. What starts as a grassroots voice grows to a movement and is most often sustained through the framework of the sector. The movements for civil rights, disability rights, women’s rights, and others all took hold in our sector. These issues continue to need our attention. They are amplified and joined now by new movements we recognize as #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and in response to gun violence #NeverAgain, to name just a few.

It is no wonder that the fastest growing classification of nonprofits is 501(c)4, which gives organizations more ability to lobby and advocate with a stronger voice. These issues generate hot debate and can bring us together or fling us apart at merely the mention of the topic. One social media post can mean the difference these days between speaking your mind and creating an argument.

To speak up and join any one of these movements is more obvious for those with missions that directly tie to them – although one could certainly argue, as I would, that we are all tied to each of these issues whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

But for a moment, let’s assume your organizational mission is distant enough from one or many of the current movements that you are not sure what to do. I know I have felt this tension. To say nothing feels complicit, but to stand for all of them feels ineffective. I wrestle, and I wonder if you wrestle, too, with when to use your “mission voice,” and when to speak up as an individual separate from mission. As an organization, we focus on some issues as part of our service delivery, but not as part of our public policy. For example, Foraker has been working for more than a decade to address sexual harassment in the workplace through our HR services, but so far it has not been one of our public policy priorities. As I note statements from highly regarded nonprofit institutions that are taking public policy stands on sexual harassment and other “greater good” issues, such as this one from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I have thought more about when and how each organization decides when to engage with its “mission voice.” While organizations will have different thresholds for taking on issues as matters of public policy, I have appreciated when they are clear on how a particular movement connects to their work – where their voices are considered valued and important. If a group is going to take a step into the public policy sphere, then this seems like a critical piece of the equation – framing a position based on where one’s mission has impact and credibility.

That said, I want to offer a path toward at least a healthy discussion with your board and staff to determine why and when to use your organizational or “mission voice.” To be clear, I have no answers about what the result will be for you, and I also think it is not up to just you. The process must be a team effort, however you define that team. The voice of your mission is held in the public’s trust. It is different from your own voice. It is different than your own opinion. I know how I feel about each of the current movements today, but that doesn’t mean as Foraker’s CEO I have a right to use the platform of our mission to voice my opinion. Equally it means I have a responsibility to the mission to ask the questions about our role as an organization. As I have said many times in the last three years, we have an obligation as a sector to use our voice in the public policy sphere. It is not something that is “nice to do,” it is essential to do. To that end, here’s a process to help determine your next steps.

  1. Know your purpose and your values. These are your organizational DNA that will inherently affect the way you consider the larger issues of our time. Let your core values be your compass.
  2. Know your mission and how it impacts the larger ecosystem. None of our missions lives in a vacuum. We grew from community need, and we serve a larger world. How does your mission reflect or amplify the issues we face today as a community, the nation, or the world?
  3. Know your role. What it is now and what do you strive for it to be (if different)? Are you primarily a direct service provider who dabbles in public policy? Does your mission depend on systems change or prevention? How does your role influence other stakeholders to take action or make change? Knowing your role will influence when you use your voice now or what the opportunities might be for the future.
  4. Know your risk tolerance. Is your organizational culture geared toward leading, following, catalyzing, or supporting? Do you have a process for assessing risk with the board and staff leadership? Do you apply it to your public policy positions?
  5. Know your screen for issues. Do you have a consistent screen for policy issues? Does it include understanding how taking a stand on any larger social issue would bolster or hinder your work? Does it include a step to ask when your mission voice would be credible and valuable in the discussion?
  6. Know your process. Considering these questions and your answers is about creating and sustaining a culture of advocacy. For some, the process starts with staff – moves to the board – then to a committee – then back to staff. For others the order is different. Perhaps it starts as a casual discussion before formal action. Perhaps urgency plays a critical role in momentum. The goal is full engagement to get to one voice on the first five steps before we tackle the issue at hand. A note of guidance. One voice is not the loudest nor most persistent voice – the minority views and perspectives are critical to this process. These are difficult questions and require healthy debate.

Ultimately our work in this sector – for board and staff – is to advance the work of mission. Each of our teams determines what that means. There will certainly be groups that say a particular civic and social issue is not their issue, and they put their heads down and focus. There will be others where every civic or social issue is their issue. And then there are likely many in the middle. For those in the middle, I welcome your ideas about your process through the six steps, along with any others you use. Tell us how you make decisions on when to use your “mission voice.”

On April 8 & 9 Foraker is teaming up with the Homer Area Nonprofit Directors on a set of seminars on advocacy, economics, and innovation.

Thanks to The Homer Foundation, the trainings are FREE! Space is limited. Register here:

Advocacy Boot Camp

Getting Unstuck: The Tools for Innovation

The Economic Impact of Alaska’s Nonprofit Sector

The New Federal Tax Law

Co-hosted by Kachemak Bay Campus & The Pratt Museum. Sponsored by The Homer Foundation.

Last night the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the text of the omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through the current fiscal. Lawmakers DID NOT include a provision to repeal or weaken the longstanding Johnson Amendment, the law that protects charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations from partisan politics.  This is good news for Alaska’s nonprofit sector!

Thank you to those that signed the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship and picked up the phone to call our congressional delegation, and congratulations to all!

Our partner, National Council of Nonprofits, has put together a list of highlights from the 2,232-page bill that they have deemed most relevant to charitable and philanthropic organizations. Their list includes:

Arts, Culture, and Community Engagement: The legislation would fund the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $153 million each, $3 million more than last year. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) would receive about a 5 percent increase over last year, while the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be funded at the same level. Each of these programs was slated for elimination in the President’s budget requests for FY 2018 and FY 2019

Census 2020: The bill provides a $1.34 billion increase for the Census Bureau to help prepare for the 2020 count. (Foraker has been at the forefront of pushing for full funding of the 2020 Census, because a fair and accurate count is REALLY critical for Alaskans!)

Food and Nutrition: The bill would appropriate $6.175 billion in discretionary funding for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which is $175 million below the fiscal year 2017 level. It would provide an additional $1.5 billion for the child nutrition programs, including $564 million for the Summer Food Service Program. The legislation would provide $74 billion in required mandatory spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), $4.5 billion below last year’s level.

Health: Medical research at the National Institutes of Health, a longstanding bipartisan priority, would increase to $37 billion, a $3 billion bump. In the bill, there is $2.8 billion for fighting opioid addiction, including $1.4 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Social Services and Assistance: The bill would provide $28 billion in discretionary funding for Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which is $4 billion more than last year. Early childhood programs are slated to receive an increase of nearly $3 billion; Head Start would see a boost of $610 million, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant is slated to receive a $2.4 billion increase to $5.2 billion. There is also a $2.37 billion increase for child care development block grants, an 80 percent year-over-year increase. The bill would provide 12.5 percent in annul credit allocations for four years in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and expands the income-averaging rules.

Read more from the National Council of Nonprofits about what’s on the list, what’s left out, and what’s ahead for the FY 2019 budget.

Questions? Contact us here.

Last year we shared with you attempts in Washington D.C. to repeal the Johnson Amendment. This is the provision of the federal tax code that protects charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations from getting involved in candidate endorsements. The National Council of Nonprofits had led the charge to save this important provision, and we’re proud that Alaska nonprofits have stepped in, too, to let our delegation know about the danger of repealing this long-standing protection from partisan politics.

Another attempt is underway this month to once again repeal the Johnson Amendment. Some congressional leaders hope to consolidate a huge array of legislative proposals into a massive bill to be passed by March 23 that would provide funding for the rest of the fiscal year. (See article below.) And one of the riders being considered would repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. If that rider is attached, it will be virtually impossible to stop passage.

Again, we strongly encourage Alaska nonprofits to “use their voices” and speak out against this attempt.

Call or email our delegation. Let them know that you oppose any move to repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment.

If you haven’t already, sign the community letter in support of nonpartisanship. It’s easy. Here’s the link. Pass it along to your colleagues after you have signed.

Write an op-ed or letter to the letter of your local newspaper. These will get the attention of our delegation. Here’s a sample of letters from across the country.

Here at Foraker, we will keep up the pressure, too. Here’s our official statement on this critical issue.

Stay in touch. Let us know if you need help to “speak up and take action.”

For more information, contact Mike Walsh, Foraker Vice President and Director of Public Policy, at mwalsh@forakergroup.org.

Foraker has added Emmy award-winning reporter John Tracy to our consulting team! We are excited to offer new trainings and to assist your organization with your communication and marketing needs.

Call us at (907) 743-1200 to learn more about our communication and marketing services!

The right people at the right time – this is a fundamental premise of the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model. We apply this to the board, the CEO/ED, and the relationship between the two. The goal: balanced partnership. The reality: it takes consistent attention and purposeful action.

Central to this relationship is the board chair. We know, of course, that not every nonprofit has staff. In fact, most nonprofits in Alaska have no staff. However, this intensifies rather than minimizes the important role of the board chair.

And yet, staff or not, our board chairs are often picked by default – we often joke that the person who gets up to go to the bathroom during the selection will become the chair.  This is no way to set up a team for success. And yet…

So, if we were doing it on purpose, what are we looking for in a successful board chair? There are many characteristics, but one in particular stands out and that’s the ability to facilitate the cultural dynamics of the group. This term refers to the way we bring our organizational values and behavioral norms into any space where mission is occurring, and then how that intersects with everyone’s personal values and behavior on the team. We see our cultural values play out in many ways, including how the team makes decisions, the way we communicate, and the way we deal with conflict. The latest national study on board governance, Daring to Lead, notes:

“Chair selection should emphasize skills in managing and facilitating group dynamics. Given the importance of the chair’s role in creating and sustaining a strong board culture, and the impact that board culture has on overall organizational performance, boards are wise to emphasize skills related to consensus building and conflict resolution when selecting a chair. Taking opportunities to observe and cultivate this skill set among committee chairs and other board leadership positions may help ensure that future candidates for the chair position are well prepared to lead. It also helps ensure the board is not forced to appoint a chair who does not have these essential skills.”

Establishing the role of the chair as a facilitator of cultural dynamics is critical, but what else does the position entail? A job description should also include the chair’s main responsibilities of keeping the board focused on what matters the most for the organization. How the chair stewards the mission is a bit more delicate, and while each person will do it with their own nuance, and hopefully in context with the organizational culture, generally it is appropriate to expect the following minimum responsibilities:

  • Effectively run meetings:
    • Partner with the CEO/ED to prepare an agenda, keep meeting discussion and debate focused on the issues, and move board members to a decision
    • Monitor board discussion and ensure that board meeting time is used effectively
    • Create ad hoc committees to propose options to difficult issues
  • Continue to define the board’s boundaries – what is the board expected or not expected to do?
  • Ensure that no single board member is dominating board discussions – work toward operating as a team
    • Contribute to the work of the board without dominating or over-influencing
    • Keep channels of communication open between the board and the CEO
    • Make sure that board members are clear about their individual board commitments
    • Establish and enforce guidelines for disciplining board members
    • Ensure that board decisions and key discussions are documented and made available to the board and the executive director (partner with staff as appropriate)
  • Develop a positive working relationship with the CEO/ED
    • Act as official spokesperson for the board, when asked by the CEO/ED and board
    • Coordinate and participate in the annual performance evaluation for the CEO/ED
    • Take the leadership role in communicating with the CEO/ED
  • Ensure a consistent plan and process are in place for strategic recruitment and engagement of board members
    • Ensure board development and finance committees are active
    • Ensure board officer and executive director succession plans are in place and up-to date
    • Ensure there is continuity and a platform for success for the mission

Again, the Daring to Lead study also highlights the importance of the board chair in setting a positive culture for the organization. “When it comes to board culture, the importance of the board chair’s leadership cannot be overstated. Daring to Lead data shows a clear link between the ability of the board to work as a collaborative team and the board chair’s ability to:

  • Resolve conflict, build consensus, and reach compromise
  • Foster an environment that builds trust among board members
  • Establish clear expectations of board service
  • Encourage board members to frame and discuss strategic questions”

The study goes on to note that “when board chairs are strong facilitators of board culture, the board is more likely to operate as a collaborative team working toward a common goal.”

While this list of roles and responsibilities is not complete, and could deepen depending on the size, complexity, and staffing of the organization, it clearly shows that this is not a role that should be offered by the board to one of its members without clear intention. Additionally, the responsibility of the rest of the board and the CEO to create an environment for the collaborative team to thrive should be a top priority for us all.

Certainly, support is a piece of a flourishing environment. In this context, support includes creating and holding safe space for the board chair to ask questions, to find their peers, and to explore their challenges. I have often thought that board chairs, if not whole boards of similar missions, should regularly meet with each other. Not because we all need more meetings, but because so much can be learned from each other that is different from what staff would share or prioritize. Imagine a world where board members simply met more often to talk about being better board members or tackling bigger questions to address the issues we face in our communities. It is this vision that propels us at Foraker to offer our statewide educational programs for board and staff, that prompts us to gather board chairs and ask them specifically what support they need and then endeavor to provide it, and that invites us to create ways for more board chairs to seek support that works best for them. It is also what makes us aware that we must do more to help board chairs reach their full potential in stewarding their missions.

At Foraker, we have tried a few times over the years to develop specific support for board chairs – like brown bag lunches and consultations. While we always knew that a need existed, we didn’t fully address it until we convened the most recent cohort of our Executive Leadership Initiative. ELI is designed for CEOs/EDs who are in their first three years of leadership. Our purpose is to help them succeed so that, in turn, we can hold on to our nonprofit leaders. When we started this program, boards participated but were not an integral part of the process. However, with the current ELI cohort, board chairs were purposely engaged and the results were immediate. This remarkable group of board chairs showed up, rolled up their sleeves, and asked for support – lots of support. Hooray! Our “take away:” we have to do more to support board chairs who either by accident or on purpose have assumed enormous roles in mission success. If we don’t each do our part in this work, our board leaders will be unsupported and unguided and could do harm – to themselves through burnout, to the board as a team, to the CEO, and to the mission. There is a role for each of us in this supportive ecosystem.

While we agree with the Daring to Lead conclusions that CEOs/EDs and boards should show great appreciation for their chairs, celebrating is not enough. We need to take more concrete steps. That means:

  • For board chairs – ask for the support that works for you. One place to start: sign up for an Ask the Expert consultation.
  • For CEOs – be open, available, and remember that each interaction can’t just be about getting what you need. This must be a mutually beneficial relationship if both of you, and your mission, are going to thrive.
  • For board members who are not the chair – your role is central to success. Your chair and your CEO/ED need you. Your responsibility is paramount to not pretend your board chair is a super hero who can handle it all. That means preparing in advance for meetings, participating – especially when no one else want to – and providing support. Each of these steps matter greatly to the success or failure of the team.

Ultimately, the board has one voice and everyone needs to know their roles and responsibilities for exercising that voice as a steward of your mission. But the chair, desired or not, is often the voice of that one voice, and they need support. This is a team effort that on good days will be one of the most rewarding things each of us does, and on the hard days will likely be the thing that matters most to mission.

And, regardless of who has the role, it is unrealistic to think that the person will magically wake up the day after the appointment and know exactly how to do the work in exactly the right cultural context. Each and every board chair needs support. How will you give it, or get it? And what do you need from us?

 

A big welcome to the Executive Directors participating in our Executive Leadership Initiative! We are excited to learn and grow with you:

Samantha Blankenship, Gastineau Humane Society
Jennifer Cross, Alaska Raptor Center
Shannon Fisher, Family Promise of Juneau
Sara Harriger, Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitor Center
Sarah Harrington, Kodiak Historical Society & Baranov Museum
Frances Leach, United Fishermen of Alaska
Kristin McTague,  Healing Hand Foundation
Michael Monterusso, Alaska Botanical Garden
Janice Nightingale, Hospice of the Central Peninsula
Andrea Noble-Pelant, Alaska State Council on the Arts
Tory Shanklin, Victims for Justice
Laurie Stuart, Pratt Museum
Curtis Thayer, Alaska Chamber of Commerce

We are proud to help the Nonprofit Finance Fund raise the voices of nonprofit leaders through the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey. This survey – the biggest national sampling of our sector – collects data about the health and challenges of U.S. nonprofits into an accessible, evidence-based illustration of our ability to help the communities we all serve. It’s a powerful platform for nonprofits large and small, urban and rural, across sub-sectors and geographies. Its findings are widely used and cited by nonprofit leaders and boards, funders, advocates, policy advisors, media, researchers, and many others.

In 2015, the NFF survey found that, despite the U.S. economic recovery, vulnerable communities were going without because nonprofits couldn’t meet increasing demand. Nonprofit leaders reported persistent worries about financial sustainability – fewer than half ended the previous year with a surplus; more than half said they had three months or less of cash-on-hand.

How comfortable is your rainy-day fund? Does anything hinder your organization from doing all the good it sets out to do? What should the country know about what we need to successfully do our work?

We at Foraker are proud to help NFF reach as many nonprofit leaders as possible, and to help share the survey’s findings as a resource for everyone.

Please take the survey and raise your organization’s voice. 

Alaska’s nonprofit sector represents a wide variety of organizations that provide public service and have an impact on the lives of nearly everyone living in the state. Although most Alaskans do not think of nonprofits as an economic powerhouse, we play a critical role in the state’s economy both as major employers and as revenue generators.
Join us as we discuss the latest research on the economic impact of Alaska’s nonprofit sector. Learn how you can use the data to advocate for your organization as we highlight the five ways we in the nonprofit sector are doing our part to meet the challenges of the state’s economy. 

See you soon!: 
Space is limited. Please click on links above for details and to register.Interested in a presentation for your community? Contact Kate Rose at krose@forakergroup.org or call 743-1201.
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