From November 2007 to January 2008, a total of 1,002 adult San Diego County residents responded to a survey designed to assess their confidence in the ability of local nonprofit organizations to provide quality services on the public's behalf and to spend money wisely. At the beginning of this survey, participants were given an identification test to determine their awareness of nonprofit organizations. Additionally, respondents were asked several questions related to their confidence in San Diego County nonprofit sub-sectors (i.e., arts, human services, environment, etc.), as well as their involvement in the local nonprofit sector through giving and volunteerism.
When comparing the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors, San Diegans had the most confidence in nonprofits to provide quality services, spend money wisely, and represent the public's interest. Other key findings in this report include the following:
- Seventy-five percent of respondents expressed either a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the ability of San Diego County nonprofits to spend money wisely
- Seventy-five percent of respondents reported making a financial contribution to a nonprofit organization in 2007 Media coverage, opinions of friends and colleagues, and an organization's website were the leading sources of information consulted prior to making a financial donation
- San Diegans expressed more confidence in the ability of local nonprofit organizations to spend money wisely than the American public has expressed in national surveys of public confidence
- Persons demonstrating higher levels of nonprofit awareness were nearly three times as likely to express higher levels of confidence in the ability of nonprofit organizations to effectively provide quality services
- Persons demonstrating higher levels of nonprofit awareness were nearly two times as likely to express higher levels of confidence in the ability of nonprofit organizations to spend money wisely
- According to the survey results, more than a third of San Diegans (40 percent) indicated that they volunteered with a nonprofit organization in 2007
- More than 86 percent of respondents had an overwhelmingly positive impression of the support provided by local nonprofits during the 2007 firestorm
- Despite their generally positive view of the nonprofit sector, many San Diegans indicated that they were unlikely to choose a nonprofit service provider in the areas of education and healthcare.
The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research which is housed in the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research.