Signs of Recovery Surface Among Nonprofit Organizations: Bridgespan Survey Shows More than Half Reporting Increase in Revenue in 2010 by EON


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									Signs of Recovery Surface Among Nonprofit
Organizations: Bridgespan Survey Shows More
than Half Reporting Increase in Revenue in 2010
February 09, 2011 01:31 PM Eastern Time  

BOSTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--In the face of a persistently tough economy and rising demand for
services, there are some encouraging signs surfacing in the nonprofit sector. A recent survey by the Bridgespan
Group of nonprofit executive directors found that half of the 102 organizations responding had seen their revenues
begin to creep back up in the past year. Another noteworthy indicator: 60% say they are actively looking for newly
available talent, compared with only 31% last year.

According to Alan Tuck, the Bridgespan partner heading up the survey work, “Nonprofits are working hard to try to
stay afloat and meet the demand. Whether the improvements we have witnessed in the sector constitute the
beginning of a rebound or merely show a temporary reprieve from the economic storm remains to be seen. What is
clear though, is that despite the challenges, some groups not only are surviving, but they are also experiencing growth
and thriving.” The survey found that:

    l   84% of organizations surveyed have seen an increase in demand for their services since the start of the
        recession compared with 58% in November 2009 and just 30% in November 2008.
    l   Among direct service nonprofits, in the past year 73% increased the number of people they serve, while 70%
        increased the levels of service provided.
    l   Only 32% of organizations received funding cuts in 2010, compared to 80% in 2009; of those, only half
        experienced cuts greater than 10%, compared to 2009 when 77% of funding cuts were greater than 10%.
    l   Half of the nonprofits surveyed have seen their revenue increase in the past year, although growth has been
        distributed unevenly, with smaller organizations having a harder time.
    l   For those organizations experiencing growth, almost two thirds (63%) saw revenue increase by 10% or more
        while 29% experienced growth of 20% or more.
    l   Organizations that experienced growth also used a common set of management tactics. They were:
             ¡ 36% more likely to create a communication plan to address recession related issues

             ¡ 23% more likely to increase efforts to accurately measure outcomes

             ¡ 23% more likely to develop a contingency plan

             ¡ 22% more likely to collaborate on programs of other organizations

“It is interesting to note that when we first starting doing these surveys two years ago, strategies like collaboration
were looked upon as acts of desperation. Now, we are seeing them as acts of strategy, steps to help improve an
organization’s ability to help solve complex problems, improve performance and accelerate growth. We hope these
findings will provide other organizations in the sector with ideas for bolstering their own growth strategies,” said

Bridgespan has also collected insights and advice from clients, from other nonprofit leaders and experts, and from
Bridgespan leadership to help organizations manage through the downturn. (See our Managing in Tough Times
resource center). To arrange an interview with Alan Tuck or to request a copy of the Bridgespan 2011 Report
“Succeeding in Tough Times,” please contact: Liz London,, 646-562-8906 or
visit our website at

About The Bridgespan Group

Founded in 2000 and incubated at Bain & Company, the Bridgespan Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
that helps nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to make strategic decisions and to build organizations that inspire and
accelerate social change.

The Bridgespan Group
Liz London, 646-562-8906


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