Report: State nonprofits saw improvements, but challenges remain

A new report released Thursday by the New Jersey Center for Nonprofits, New Jersey Nonprofits: Trends and Outlook 2022, found that the state’s nonprofit organizations have experienced improvements in their circumstances since the worst of the pandemic in 2020, but a number of significant challenges persist.

Linda Czipo. (File photo)

The report is the center’s annual survey of the nonprofit community, with the results presented at a web briefing earlier this week.

According to the findings:

  • Demands for services and rising expenses are still outpacing funding;
  • Nonprofits are struggling with significant workforce shortages that threaten their ability to meet community needs;
  • Nonprofits also weighed in with their observations about the funding practices of their philanthropic partners, revealing significant opportunities to improve these vital relationships;
  • Ongoing racial inequities and the disparate impact of the pandemic and its economic fallout mean that incorporating diversity and equity as a permanent and intentional part of all aspects of nonprofit work remains critically important.

“There’s definitely encouraging news in the survey compared with a year ago, but we still have a long road ahead,” said Linda Czipo, CEO and president of the New Jersey Center for Nonprofits. “A lot of longstanding stressors that were exacerbated by the pandemic are still present, and we need to address them.”

The survey revealed a number of key issues that respondents identified as most important to their own organizations and to the nonprofit community overall. These included financial and funding considerations, strengthening boards, the ability to afford qualified staff and advancing diversity, equity & inclusion.

“The past two years have shown clearly how indispensable the work of nonprofits is,” Czipo said. “If we’re going to assure a strong recovery for everyone, we need nonprofits to be supported so they can be there for the people and causes that are counting on them.”