State of Nonprofits Quarterly Index

Updates on 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 State of Nonprofits Quarterly Index for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2012. 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.

Key findings from the index can be found at

Major findings:

  • Public confidence in the nonprofit sector remains high at over 85%.
  • While the number of households that report making a charitable donation remains somewhat steady, fluctuations in the total dollars given per household are evident. This may be a reflection of seasonal giving.
  • Nonprofit CEOs are concerned about the impact of the November elections on the State budget and the future provision of vital services.
  • San Diego’s nonprofit sector is increasingly focusing on collaboration, consolidation, and sourcing opportunities for innovation.

San Diego Nonprofit CEOs observe the following economic trends: increased financial challenges, focus on collaboration and consolidation, call for innovation and new strategies, concerns about the general economy, concerns about politics, changes in the demand for services, employment and staffing challenges.

~ “I don’t hear any of the candidates talking about not for profit support. I hope the claims to help the middle class are true, as that might help.” Nonprofit CEO

~ “Foundations are changing their priorities, giving less, giving less often, skipping years of giving, alternating years of giving, while dealing with the demand of responding to diverse nonprofit service demands and what comes out of the competition for funding.” Nonprofit CEO

Comments from CEOs 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 Employment, Nonprofit Wages, 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 (USD) is a Catholic institution of higher learning committed to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and the creation of ethical leaders. Chartered in 1949, the school enrolls approximately 7,800 undergraduate and graduate full-time equivalent students. USD has a long history of public service and was recently recognized as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. The university’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences, Peace, the Department of Engineering and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education.

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 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university'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's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan 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.