The 2015 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey is a tale of two realities. Encouragingly, 76% of organizations reported finishing FY 2014 with break-even financials or a surplus, while 24% reported an operating deficit -- the best financial results we've seen since we began collecting this data in 2009. Yet financial improvements do not necessarily indicate stability. In fact, even organizations that achieved operating surpluses reported long-term sustainability as their greatest challenge. As such, this raises the question: what exactly does it take to get ahead when even financially sound organizations feel like they are struggling to find solid ground?
The survey data shows us that nonprofits are trying to allocate space for long-term thinking in our post-recession climate. To support these efforts, this year we have blended our survey analysis with a set of recommendations for both nonprofits and their funders to plan for sustainability in 2015 and beyond. We cannot be complacent with single-year gains. Adaptability for the sector requires improving the operating climate in both the long and short term.