Oregon nonprofits: An economic force

With 10,429 active organizations and 166,130 employees, Oregon nonprofits account for 13 percent of the state’s private sector workforce. Many are operating under financial stress, but they remain an “economic driver” that has been silent.

That’s the conclusion presented by Robin Doussard, editor of the Oregon Business magazine, this week as she offered highlights of the new Oregon Nonprofit Sector Report, released Tuesday.

The report is a joint effort of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and Portland State University. It is based on 2010 information collected from more than 600 nonprofit organizations and their leaders.

Doussard wrote that Oregon nonprofits get “scant recognitiion or attention as the significant economic force” they are.

“Don’t get me wrong. I think everyone greatly appreciates the work that nonprofits do. But rarely do I encounter a business group or summit that brings in the nonprofit sector as a constant, equal partner to discuss the economy of the state.

“As more and more social and community services once provided by state, local or federal governments are being defunded or cut back, it leaves many of the state’s nonprofits to fill the gap.”

Carrie Hoops, executive director of NAO, said, “We are 13 percent of the private sector workforce; we’re an economic driver, but we’ve been silent. I don’t think people really realize the impact of the nonprofit sector.”

The report contains information on nonprofits’ financial health, service capacity, economic and social impact and much more. The entire report is available by clicking here.

Sixty percent of the survey respondents said fundraising revenue increased in 2010-2011 over 2009-2010. Twenty-two percent said fundraising remained the same, and 18 percent said it was down.

Increasing foundation grant applications, more contact with individual donors, added special events and expanded marketing are the most popular strategies adopted by the nonprofits to increase fundraising revenue.

Sources: ONSR, 2012, and Fundraising Trends Report (UCLA), 2011

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