USD's Castor Center Releases State of Nonprofits Index

Charting the Economic Health of San Diego’s Nonprofits

The University of San Diego’s Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research announces the release of the most recent State of Nonprofits Quarterly Index. This index charts the economic health of San Diego’s nonprofit sector, proving consistent data to inform decision making by nonprofit executives, policy makers, and funders. It represents Quarter 4 of 2011 (October – December).

Major findings include:

  • Public confidence in the nonprofit sector remains extremely high at over 85 percent.
  • The demand for services (food, housing/shelter, income support) has risen for the second quarter in a row.
  • While financial challenges still top the list of nonprofit CEO’s concerns, there is a growing sense that the economy is improving.
  • San Diego’s nonprofit sector is increasingly focusing on collaboration, consolidation, and opportunities for innovation (
  • The number of households giving increased; however, on average, the number of dollars given per household decreased.
  • The full report can be found at

The State of Nonprofits Quarterly Index is San Diego’s only nonprofit economic index. The index provides data about seven key indicators that have direct impact on the economic health of San Diego nonprofit organizations. Indicators include: Public Confidence, Individual Giving, Volunteerism, Demand for Nonprofit Services, Nonprofit Sector Wages, Nonprofit Employment, and Unemployment in San Diego overall.

Data for the index are derived from a variety of sources including: the quarterly Caster Center Giving and Volunteering Survey, 2-1-1 San Diego, nonprofit job postings, and California’s Employment Development Department. Additionally, a panel of more than 120 San Diego nonprofit leaders serves as “Nonprofit Economic Trend Reporters” contributing quarterly data about emerging trends in the sector. For a list of Trend Reporters, visit:

This project is presented with support from: Luth Research, US Bank, 2-1-1 San Diego, and The Westreich Foundation.

The Caster Family Center is part of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the University of San Diego. The mission of the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research is to provide research, evaluation, and consulting services that build the leadership and strategic- and evaluative-thinking capacity of local nonprofits as well as to be the leading source of information, data, and research on the local nonprofit sector.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 7,800 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The fall 2007 establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the University's total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Leadership and Education Sciences, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences. For more information go to

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.