Nonprofits holding their own, survey says

Membership and funding are growing at nonprofits, but many also are seeing a rise in operating costs and need additional staff they cannot afford to hire, a new survey says.

“Generally speaking, the health of nonprofits appears stable or growing,” says the Constant Contact 2012 Nonprofit Pulse Survey.

Based on a responses in May from 307 nonprofits from marketing firm Constant Contact’s customer base, 67 percent expect membership or funding this year to be more than last year, while  7 percent expect it to be less.

Forty-nine percent have seen an increase in membership and funding this year, while 12 percent have seen a decrease.

And 55 percent have adequate cash flow.

But 46 percent of nonprofit are seeing higher operating costs, 35 percent need additional staff but are not able to hire, and 51 percent have increased the number of services they offer.

Asked what keeps them up at night, 64 percent said how to attract new supporters, 59 percent said how to connect and better engage with existing supporters, and 57 percent said getting funding.

Eighty-six percent of nonprofits responding to the survey said email is an effective marketing tool, while 80 percent said website marketing was effective, 73 percent said in-person interactions were effective, and 70 percent said events were effective.

Fifty-eight percent said social media marketing was an effective marketing tool, and among those, 88 percent said Facebook was most effective, compared to 5 percent that cited Twitter and 1 percent that cited Google+.

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