The Nonprofit Institute at USD Releases its 2023 State of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Report

The Nonprofit Institute at USD Releases its 2023 State of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Report

The Nonprofit Institute housed in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego (USD) has released its 2023 State of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Report, which tracks the health and vitality of our region’s nonprofit sector and philanthropy that supports it. This year’s report documents a thriving nonprofit sector that is very much in need of ongoing support to sustain and enhance its capacity to address the pressing problems facing our region.

Some noteworthy developments highlighted in the report include:

  • 38% of San Diegans are somewhat seriously considering moving out of San Diego, primarily due to the high cost of living.
  • Based on quarterly polls of San Diego residents, in 2023, San Diegans are increasingly concerned about a number of issues. Homelessness, housing, hunger and poverty, climate change, and mental health top this list of concerns. 
  • 83% of residents reported having benefited from services provided by nonprofits in the past 12 months.
  • 81% percent of San Diegans reported nonprofits as being the most trusted to act on their behalf and promote positive social change, compared to businesses (69%) and local government (52%).
  • 40% of nonprofit leaders reported that demand for services has increased substantially and 38% reported it has increased moderately over the past 12 months.
    • In particular, environmental organizations reported the greatest increase in demand over the past two years – a sign that awareness about the impacts of climate change is growing.
  • 80% of nonprofits have grown their workforce in the past 12 months, creating new staff positions. More than half anticipate more growth, yet the inability to offer competitive wages has hindered their ability to hire.
  • Independent and Family Foundations operating in San Diego County have experienced significant growth in recent years. Based on IRS tax returns filed in 2021, assets have grown 161% since 2015. 

“Nonprofits play a vital role in supporting our quality of life in the region. This report provides a snapshot of the nonprofit sector’s needs, accomplishments, and opportunities for growth. By understanding the essential role nonprofits play in our communities, we can better unite efforts, allocate resources strategically, and inspire collective action toward building a stronger, more equitable society for all in San Diego," said Tessa Tinkler, Director of Research at The Nonprofit Institute. 

The Nonprofit Institute’s annual report represents a broader commitment by the University of San Diego to care for our common home. This research and programs offered by The Nonprofit Institute are designed to ensure that nonprofit leaders and organizations are best positioned to work in common cause and partnership with government, business, philanthropy and the communities they serve.

About the University of San Diego

Strengthened by the Catholic intellectual tradition, we confront humanity’s challenges by fostering peace, working for justice and leading with love. 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 Knauss 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. In 2021, USD was named a “Laudato Si’ University” by the Vatican with a seven-year commitment to address humanity’s urgent challenges by working together to take care of our common home.


Cameran Zech
(619) 260-7448