How do you compare?

June 6, 2012
When you set performance benchmarks for your organization, it’s important to check the view from the outside to stay in tune with where you stand, and determine where you want to be.

There are many good sources of information, from affinity groups (public broadcasters, hospitals, libraries, environmental organizations)… to publications serving nonprofits… to your own state’s nonprofit association.

The Nonprofit Association of Oregon just released its first-ever comprehensive report, and discovered a rich multitude of information.

From the concerning… 57% of nonprofits don’t have enough unrestricted operating reserves to cover three months of operating expenses, and nearly one in four have less than one month worth of reserves. 

To the hopefulPortland has a very high percentage of volunteers (36%), second only to Minneapolis. It has the highest rate of voluntarism amongst Millennials and Gen Xers. And gifts from individuals remains the largest source of revenue.

To the thought-provoking… 86% of Oregon nonprofits collaborate in some way with each other. And 71% of Oregon nonprofits are small, with annual revenues of $100,000 and under, a much higher percentage than the rest of the nation.

To the straightforward truth… Oregon nonprofits feel strongly that their expressions of mission and vision are clear, yet are far less confident about measurements of performance, the strength of human resources systems, and the strength of their funding model.

When stitched together, these facts create a compelling story about what our future might look like and what direction we need to head in order to get there. It’s important stuff to understand.

You can find the entire Oregon report here.If you live elsewhere, check out your local nonprofit association.