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Communities Unlimited Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

If we provide more unrestricted support for Arkansas’s nonprofits, invest in people (not just programs), and understand that until basic needs are met, nonprofits can’t effectively engage in long-term planning, our nonprofits will begin to reach their full potential.

What Nonprofits Say They Need

We asked 441 nonprofit organizations across Arkansas what they needed to better serve the people of our state.

Nonprofit organizations in our state are surviving, but not thriving. To get stronger, they need the resources to invest back in their own organizational development—to hire and pay qualified staff, develop effective fundraising and communications initiatives, and plan for the future.

In 2018, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation, and Arkansas Community Foundation partnered with Communities Unlimited to develop the Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations, an overview of the size, mission, leadership, operational practices and biggest needs of a cross section of the state’s roughly 14,000 nonprofit groups. Find out what Arkansas nonprofits said about fundraising, volunteer recruitment, competition with other nonprofits, and the daily challenges of the job.  

Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

Resources

Information you can use to build a strong nonprofit infrastructure in Arkansas.

Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

If we provide more unrestricted support for Arkansas’s nonprofits, invest in people (not just programs), and understand that until basic needs are met, nonprofits can’t effectively engage in long-term planning, our nonprofits will begin to reach their full potential.

Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

Infographic

Market Study of Arkansas Nonprofit Organizations

Discussion Deck

Stronger Nonprofits, Stronger Arkansas

How can we make our state’s charitable organizations stronger and more effective in meeting the needs of Arkansans?

The building blocks for strong organizations are simple: committed people, sustained funding, and effective collaboration. Nonprofits participating in the Market Study told us that they needed:

  • Human capital. Volunteers and staff who are passionate about improving communities and are able to make a sustained commitment to keep the work going.
  • General operating support. Grants and donations that are flexible enough to be used for programs, staffing, technology, or daily needs like rent and utilities.
  • Multi-year support. Commitment of funding that allows organizations enough time to plan, evaluate and improve.
  • Targeted, individualized assistance. Help with special needs like occasional legal advice, financial management assistance, technical support to create a fundraising or communications plan, and guidance on developing a system to evaluate their programs.
  • A network of support. The opportunity to learn from one another and work together to serve people in their communities while preserving their individual funding streams.

Questions for Reflection

What role can you play in building stronger nonprofits for a stronger Arkansas?

Foundations and Funders
  • Are you providing general operating support to your grantees? How long is your grant period?
  • What are you doing to develop strong nonprofit leaders?
  • What kind of training infrastructure have you helped to put in place to build nonprofit capacity?
Nonprofit Leaders
  • How do you communicate with your donors about the ways your organization is investing its dollars?
  • Do you seek out funders willing to provide general operating support?
  • Have you considered pooling resources or collaborating with other nonprofits to access back office support, human resources, and legal services?
Donors and Volunteers
  • In what ways do you invest your time and resources in addressing issues you care about?
  • Have you assessed the skills, knowledge, and connections you have that might allow you to help your favorite nonprofits in the most effective way?
  • When you give to support nonprofits, do you know how your dollars are spent and what the organizations’ most pressing needs are?