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In 2014, the social sector generated stories of both promising innovation and overwhelming challenges. In fundraising, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised over $100 million from 3 million donors, reminded us of the power of individual giving and the underutilized potential of social media. In the same year, New York City’s largest human services agency reached the brink of bankruptcy after providing essential services for 80 years. Over 100,000 clients are suddenly facing a disruption in services, coming to the end of what was for many a decades-long relationship with the agency.
NFF’s 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey focuses on the underlying causes of these dynamics by exploring the programmatic, financial, and operational issues facing nonprofits across the U.S. We launched the Survey in 2008, when economic crisis threatened the viability of many organizations. Seven years later, results from 5,451 respondents show some indications of recovery, stabilization, and growth. Nonprofits are adding jobs, engaging in strategic conversations such as leadership succession planning, and looking to retain their workforce. Yet as they raise their sights from the focus on short-term crisis, many are confronting the troubling reality that current practices cannot sustain organizations in the long-term or meet the needs of the communities they serve now. Many organizations have stumbled out of crisis looking to make the necessary investments to secure their long-term future. And it is a hard road ahead.
Our 2015 NFF Survey Analyzer at survey.nff.org  allows you to investigate questions that cut across sub-sectors, budget size, geography and other dimensions. We invite you to share what you discover via e-mail and social media . If you'd like to find out what additional slices of the survey data are available, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Under-resourced communities are going without because nonprofits can't meet demand. Americans —particularly those in low-income communities—are still struggling to secure jobs, affordable housing, and healthcare.
Nonprofits identified critical needs in their communities, including:
Recovery of the U.S. economy hasn't addressed the systemic and perpetual funding challenges facing nonprofits. While we are seeing some positive economic indicators, in many cases nonprofits are still hampered by insufficient funding and a lack of investment in long-term sustainability.
Nonprofits are navigating a time of immense need and change, while pursuing ways to build long-term sustainability and viability. Nonprofits continue to prove their ability to survive and thrive in tough conditions. They are working to ensure their ability to meet community needs now and in the years to come. Here are some of the ways they are investing in their futures: