Survey: donations, costs up at local nonprofits

Although a statewide survey of Washington nonprofits marks a trend in increased giving – especially at events – increased operational costs are forcing many nonprofits to cut back services, a survey released Thursday by The Collins Group found.

“Despite positive fundraising trends, nonprofits across Washington are scaling back services,” said Aggie Sweeney, CEO of The Collins Group (TCG). “Unfortunately, giving trends aren’t keeping up with the costs of delivering services.”

More than 1,458 nonprofits were invited to respond to the survey with an estimated 10 percent response rate. The majority of respondents were executive directors of nonprofits. The survey was jointly conducted by the Seattle-based TCG and Executive Alliance. TCG is the largest fundraising consulting firm in the Northwest and has helped nonprofits raise more than $550 million in the last five years. Executive Alliance is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to advancing a powerful nonprofit sector. A copy of the survey is available at

“We want to help nonprofits continue the essential work they do for our communities,” said Robbie Rohr, executive director of Executive Alliance. “Nonprofits are in the business of fulfilling community needs. We’re in the business of enhancing the leadership of nonprofits and increasing their voices in the community.”

Key highlights of the survey included several emerging trends:

— More than two-thirds of the respondents said giving is steady or has grown in the past two years, with the most significant growth reported at special events.

— Nearly 60 percent of nonprofits in Eastern Washington, report a reduction in services to meet operational costs.

— An estimated 40 percent of the nonprofits providing human services reported cutting services to meet operational costs

— Most nonprofits said they were concerned about the rising costs of employee healthcare costs (67 percent), increased regulation of nonprofits (55 percent) and tax reform (37 percent).