The Florida Nonprofit Alliance has released the findings of its 2022 Florida Nonprofits Survey, sponsored by Wells Fargo. This edition of the survey shares insights into what the wins and challenges were for Florida nonprofits in 2022.
Through all of the challenges, nonprofits across the state have continued to provide vital programs and services to our communities and those who need them. These survey findings allow residents across Florida to support the nonprofit sector by listening to what their needs are and helping them fill those needs.
While many organizations have either moved away from pandemic-related ways of operating or adapted them into their regular operations, challenges still exist for the sector. Funding and human resources – staff and volunteer – top the issues that nonprofits are facing. The sector is not immune to the struggles of other sectors, like inflation and a workforce shortage. In addition, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole hit Florida in 2022, a harsh reminder of the roles natural disasters play in our state.
“Florida nonprofits have mostly recovered from the pandemic but are now tackling a new set of challenges. A third of existing CEO leaderships will turn over by 2025. 66% had no increase in unrestricted revenue in 2022. More organizations need to invest in internal infrastructure but don’t have the funding to do so,” said Sabeen Perwaiz, president and CEO of Florida Nonprofit Alliance.
68% of organizations report their 2022 budget was the same as or more than their 2019 budget. While this seems positive, inflation and rising costs in 2022 also increased expenses, and therefore budgets, and didn’t necessarily increase programs and services.
30% of organizations have used some or all of their reserves over the past 3 years. Another 35% do not have any reserves at all, up from 26% in 2021. Even nonprofits with reserves are seeing financial losses without using their reserve dollars due to the volatility of the stock market in 2022.
“This new study looks at the current challenges and opportunities within Florida’s nonprofit sector,” said Wells Fargo Senior Vice President of Community Relations Kate Wilson. “Wells Fargo is proud to help make this data available so that we can all make informed decisions together that will help address the needs of our communities across Florida.”
Florida Nonprofit Alliance, in partnership with Wells Fargo, has been conducting this survey since April 2020. Florida’s nonprofits are six percent of the state’s workforce and employ over 600,000 people. But now, the sector is dealing with burnout, a wave of resignations, and an inability to hire qualified staff because the sector is competing with a national job market and higher wages at for-profit employers. The decline in volunteerism adds further strains. New investments must be made in organizational infrastructure. Meanwhile, inflation is eating away budgets, and the number of people donating to nonprofits is declining. Too many nonprofits have exceeded their limits, having been constantly expected to do so much more with so little for so long.
- Providing programs and services is a bright spot for nonprofits. 46% of organizations are providing services fully in-person, and 45% served more people in 2022 than they did in 2021. Nonprofits have not had to make additional changes to the way they provide services in 2022 like they did during the pandemic.
- 34% of nonprofits say funding is their biggest challenge. That includes decreased funding for programs, access to funds, and unrestricted funding. In addition, nonprofits are not able to find or leverage new sources of funding – they are heavily reliant on those who already know and invest in them.
- Volunteers are a major challenge – 41% of organizations say it is a resource of which they need more. Although the number of organizations using volunteers has been increasing over the past two years, avoiding burnout of current volunteers and finding new ones, while also providing different types of volunteer experiences is something nonprofits struggle with.
- The nonprofit sector is also experiencing staffing challenges. 27% are having trouble filling open staff positions, 25% are experiencing voluntary staff turnover, and the mental health effects on staff remains high. Some organizations have raised salaries and/or increased benefits, but not all organizations have the resources to do so.
- The pipeline for leadership in the sector needs attention – approximately 1/3 of current CEOs will have left their jobs by 2025.
- Nonprofit budgets are growing, but unrestricted revenue and cash reserves are not. This means that nonprofits are finding short term revenue sources for programming but may not be investing enough into the infrastructure and long term sustainability of their organizations.
- Inflation and rising costs are a concern. They increase both the financial strain and the fundraising burden on nonprofit organizations.
- Hurricane Ian affected a quarter of the nonprofits in Florida, in ways ranging from property damage to inability to provide services due to resource loss to staff being unavailable.
This survey, designed for 501(c)(3) charitable organizations located in and serving the state of Florida, was conducted from October 7 to November 15, 2022. The 30-question online survey was distributed electronically (email, social media, and website posting) to FNA members and newsletter subscribers. It was also shared by other management support organizations (MSOs) and community foundations across the state. In addition, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shared the survey with all registered nonprofits in the state.
FNA received 2,300 responses – our highest response ever. Unless noted otherwise under the tables in the report, that was the number of responses to each question. Many of the questions allowed respondents to select all that applied, so percentages on those questions will total more than 100%.
About Florida Nonprofit Alliance
The Florida Nonprofit Alliance (FNA) is a statewide coalition of nonprofits focused on research, collaboration and advocacy. FNA’s mission is to serve as the state’s collective voice, respected advocate, effective connector, and powerful mobilizer for the nonprofit sector. We provide a collective voice at the state and national levels, educating elected officials and constituents, and serve as a central resource and referral center for and about Florida nonprofits. FNA also represents Florida as the state association member of the National Council of Nonprofits. Visit www.flnonprofits.org.
FLORIDA NONPROFIT ALLIANCE