MNN’s Commonwealth Insights publications highlight policy, issues, and trends important to the nonprofit sector. In each edition, we’ll feature data and stories that illustrate the full depth and breadth of the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts.
2016 Third Edition:
Individual Donations: The Lifeblood of the Nonprofit Sector
In our third edition of Commonwealth Insights, we used data from an MNN member survey, which found that 82% of respondents rely upon individual donations. That’s a higher percentage than for foundation funding, corporate funding, or government funding. The report also includes data from the Giving Common, an initiative of the Boston Foundation, which highlights the fact that so many nonprofits run lean. Massachusetts nonprofits are not alone in that regard, as documented by data from the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s nationwide survey.
Key points and recommendations include:
- Individual donations are a pillar of nonprofit support. 82% of MNN members surveyed rely on individual donations.
- Individual donations are critical because nonprofits run lean. 40% of Massachusetts Giving Common nonprofits have no reserve fund, and many others have just a few months of reserves.
- The federal tax deduction for charitable contributions will be under pressure as lawmakers debate tax reform in 2017. It must be preserved.
- Donations to nonprofit do more than help people in need They strengthen the social fabric of communities and the entire state.
Released on Giving Tuesday, this report reminds us that individual donations, on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year, are essential to support the critical work that nonprofits undertake every day.
The Commonwealth Insights series is made possible by support from the Barr Foundation.