Research Round Robin: February 2018

Whether we’re trying to gauge our effectiveness, get a big picture idea of our sector’s overall health, or make the case that our work is worth investing more in, research is an invaluable North Star that helps us do good, better.

Although critical, up-to-date data in many areas can still be scarce, the flow of new, relevant research remains steady throughout the year. Here’s an overview of reports from the earliest weeks of 2018 that caught our attention.

A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America

Last month, two of the largest national associations representing government agencies and nonprofits in the human services sector released a first-of-its kind report on the sector’s financial health and economic impact. For the day of the report’s release, we were able to share a Q&A with the groups’ respective leaders. Of the report’s key insights, the biggest was evidence of the increasingly important role community-based organizations will take on in the human services space. Read the report.

More on the report
• Nonprofits Have Major Money Problems

Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It

Prosperity Now kicked off the first week of February by releasing Whose Bad Choices?, a report that argues that policies at all levels of government are forcing families to make impossible choices, ultimately putting financial well-being farther out of reach. The report is the most recent of Prosperity Now’s now-annual Scorecard reports. The first of its kind was issued in 2002, but since 2012, the Scorecard has been a vital annual examination of financial health and policy recommendations to help put everyone in our country on a path to prosperity. Read the report.

More on the report
Prosperity in America? Not for Low-Income People

2018 Edelman Trust Barometer

According to the most recent Edelman Trust Barometer report put out by the public relations and marketing giant of the same name, trust in business, government, NGOs and media remained largely unchanged from 2017—and not necessarily in a good way. According to the report, 20 of 28 markets surveyed are in what Edelman considers “distruster territory”—the term assigned to institutions who register a trust index score below 50 on 100-point scale. Read the report.

More on the report
Trust Is Collapsing in America

Delivering Through Diversity

McKinsey & Company’s 2018 Delivering Through Diversity report is an expansion of their 2015 report documenting the correlation between diversity and profitability. For this research, McKinsey defines diversity as “a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies.” While social justice has typically driven conversations about the moral imperative for inclusion and diversity, McKinsey’s research illustrates the relevance of diversity as a key enabler of growth that gives businesses a competitive edge. Read the report.

More on the report
More Evidence That Company Diversity Leads To Better Profits

What Now: How Will the Impending Retirement of Nonprofit Leaders Change the Sector?

The impending retirement of the baby-boomer generation has long been on the mind of industries like manufacturing and health care. But a new report from Robert Morris University’s Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management suggests that the trend could strike a particularly ominous blow to the nonprofit sector. Many nonprofit executives plan to retire within the next decade. Concurrently, faced with the perennial challenge of resource constraints, nonprofits often must prioritize delivering critical services over auditing their human resources practices for sustainability. Bayer’s report gives us a glimpse of what our sector must prepare for as many of its most experienced leaders prepare to exit the workforce. Read the report.

More on the report
Nonprofits unprepared for exodus of baby boomers, Robert Morris University report warns

Add Your Voice

The research summaries above are by no means an exhaustive list of the newest information out there to help us better understand the nonprofit landscape. So if we missed a report you think we should know and share about, let us know by leaving a comment!

If you’re interested in contributing to new research on charities, you can participate in Nonprofit Finance Fund’s (NFF) 2018 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey now through Wednesday, February 21. The survey is the largest national survey dedicated to collecting and sharing data on the challenges and opportunities faced by nonprofits. For more about it, check out our Q&A with NFF’s Jennifer Talansky.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Data, Ethics and Accountability, Health and Human Services, IS Member, Leadership Development, Nonprofit Capital, Organizational Relationships, Public Policy, Race, Equity, and Inclusion, Voices for Good