Report Profiles New England's Nonprofits

This report is the newest and most comprehensive look at nonprofit leadership in New England, with recommendations on what supports are needed to ensure nonprofits succeed in the region.

With support from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and other funding partners, Third Sector® New England released a report entitled Leadership New England: Essential Shifts for a Thriving Nonprofit Sector on June 10, 2015 that profiles New England's nonprofits and their leaders and recommends three shifts that can help the sector become more sustainable and healthy in the coming decade. Results and recommendations are based on more than 1,200 nonprofit leaders and board members who completed a survey. Responses pointed to critical findings including:

  • 64% of executives plan to leave their jobs within the next five years.
  • 60% of organizations do not have succession plans.
  • Just one-third of leaders believe they have staff in their organization who can step up into leadership positions.

Nonprofits continue to operate in a world of challenges unique to the sector

Leaders report that they need more support and investment in preparing for transitions by developing sustainability strategies, cultivating leadership within their organizations, and staff development.

Despite the challenges nonprofits face, leaders reported being happy in their jobs, that they are passionate about their organization's mission, and that their work has increased their sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Other significant findings:
  • Six in ten New England leaders (58%) and board members (62%) said their organizations do not have any type of succession plan in place.
  • A majority of both leaders and board members reported fundraising as the number one challenge in their organization.
  • Almost half of leaders (49%) who plan to leave their organizations within two years report that a more highly performing board would make them more likely to stay with the organization.

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View the data for Greater New Haven