Reproduced from The Rivard Report
SCOTT BALL / RIVARD REPORT
(From left) Casey Weed, Asia Ciaravino, and Corina Zars, walk through Main Plaza during The Big Give SA in 2015.
Some San Antonio nonprofits providing everything from basic human services to arts enrichment and education in this community say, in many cases, the cost of providing services surpassed the funds they brought in last year. That’s according to the first-ever State of the Nonprofit Sector Report released in January, less than two weeks ahead of the annual fundraising campaign, The Big Give.
The report, commissioned by The Nonprofit Council and funded through a $22,000 grant from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, is the first comprehensive look at the nonprofit sector in the greater San Antonio region, covering Bexar County and 12 surrounding counties.
Conducted by the UTSA Department of Public Administration, the study’s purpose was to provide a snapshot of the nonprofit sector, including what types of organizations are active, the populations they serve, challenges they confront, and their impact on the region. The report highlights three nonprofits that are measuring effectiveness and “moving the needle” toward solving problems in the community.
UTSA’s Kandyce Fernandez and Jennifer Alexander distributed the State of the Sector survey in June 2017 to 1,360 organizations identified and contacted by The Nonprofit Council, SA2020, and United Way of San Antonio. Of those, 421 nonprofits completed a majority of the online survey and 244 answered the entire questionnaire. All respondents are listed in the report.
Most of the nonprofits that returned the survey do work in the human services category of nonprofits, followed closely by family well-being, and 41 percent were smaller nonprofits, with annual budgets below $300,000.
Scott McAninch, CEO of The Nonprofit Council, said he was pleased with the response rate, given that nonprofits tend to be time-crunched and that the survey asked for financial data that might have been difficult for organizations to collect at the time. However, he hoped response would be better.
“It was really an opportunity for these nonprofits to get engaged and take the survey because we explained to them that we want to share it with not only our elected officials,” McAninch said. “To let them know what the sector is doing, what they provide to the community, what they do that government can’t do and what that would look like if the nonprofits weren’t around – [but also] our funding community, to give them an idea. And I thought it was a nice complement to what SA2020 does with their Impact Report,” which provides context on local goals, successes and challenges, calls-to-action, and profiles of the city’s 10 council districts.
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