Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit Sector

Industry Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent opportunities for jobs in advocacy, grant-making, and civic organizations as a result of the increasing number of older adults who will need social and community services. There will also be job growth in the nonprofit sector due to retirements and turnover due to low wages. Public awareness of social and political issues, plus the persistence of traditional social problems should maintain demand for nonprofit workers. In addition, the number of nonprofits has been rising steadily and each new group creates new job opportunities. To prevent employee burnout, many nonprofits will continue to hire new staff to handle new initiatives and programs. In addition, more nonprofits are using social media—LinkedIn and Facebook, in particular—as recruitment tools. The nonprofit fields that anticipate the greatest increase in job opportunities are health, environment and animals, and faith-based organizations.

Nonprofit organizations faced many challenges in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business lockdowns and social distancing requirements caused the cancellation of fundraising events, conferences, workshops, and other activities and events. At the same time, the demand surged for services from nonprofits to assist communities during the pandemic. Nonprofit organizations were in high need because the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic triggered a rise in unemployment, food insecurity, loss of income for many people, an increase in mental health problems associated with pandemic stress, among numerous other issues. Many nonprofit organizations adapted to the pandemic precautions by digitizing their services, holding fundraising events and meetings remotely. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

The research group IBISWorld reported that conservation and human rights organizations, many of which are nonprofit organizations, were expected to have a 4 percent decline in 2020. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 is helping the economy rebound, however, and revenue is projected to increase in this industry by 1.7 percent in 2021 alone. Growth is then expected to accelerate through 2026, due to declining employment rate after the pandemic and an increase in consumer spending. Post pandemic, more people will be willing and able to make charitable donations to industry organizations.

The National Council of Nonprofits highlighted the top trends that charitable nonprofits will be facing in the coming years, with the top three continuing to be limited resources, increasing demands on nonprofits (due to increased needs in communities), and the increasing awareness that each nonprofit and board member must be an "active, vocal advocate for her/his nonprofit's mission to affect policies in the community, and at the national level."

New online tools, social networks, and technological developments will also change how nonprofits work in the coming years, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy article. For instance, more people are using online fundraising tools such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Gofundme to raise money for their nonprofit projects and organizations. Job seekers who can demonstrate knowledge of these types of "crowdfunding" networks and who can show how they've used them successfully will be in demand. More nonprofits will also aim to improve their Web sites and make sure they work, due to the fact that a growing percentage of the population goes online mainly through their smartphone. In fact, donations can now be made via text through smartphones. Nonprofit organizations will also be adding more Web analytics to their sites, to track and analyze data better, and improve their fundraising efforts.