A new study gives the lie to the notion that nonprofits are unwilling to assess the effectiveness of their work.
The Center for Effective Philanthropy reported last week that 81% of nonprofits in a nationwide survey believed they should demonstrate their impact by using performance measures.
The study, Room for Improvement: Foundations’ Support of Nonprofit Performance Assessment, presented these key findings:
- Seventy-one percent of nonprofit leaders surveyed reported receiving no foundation support—either monetary or nonmonetary—for their organization’s assessment efforts.
- Only 32% said their funders had helped them assess their progress in achieving their goals.
- Upward of 60% wanted more help from their foundation funders in these efforts.
“Nonprofits are routinely castigated for their unwillingness to make a hard-nosed assessment of their impact,” CEP president Phil Buchanan said in a statement. “Some even suggest that what we need are hybrid businesses that combine a for-profit focus on the bottom line with a mission.
“But when we actually stop and listen to nonprofits, a very different picture emerges. The 177 nonprofit leaders we surveyed overwhelmingly care about measuring their impact. What they need is help—financial and practical help from their funders.”