Greater New Orleans Foundation Releases Needs Scan Report 2.0 of Local Nonprofit Sector

June 9, 2016

(New Orleans, LA | June 9, 2016) The Organizational Effectiveness Initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation released Needs Scan 2.0 Report, an in-depth look at the organizational needs of the nonprofit sector in the Greater New Orleans area. The report’s findings are based on survey results from 308 nonprofit organizations and 60 group and one-on-one conversations with representatives from the region’s nonprofits.  The first Needs Scan Report was released in 2011. The 2016 report is available at by calling the Foundation at (504) 598-4663.

Several of the key findings and trends revealed in the report are the following:

Increase in Demand for Services

Over 82% of the nonprofits reported that there has been a slightly or significant increase in demand for services, and oftentimes, those services are for such basic needs as food and shelter. One in three organizations reported they are not able to meet the demand for their programs or services.

Sustainability is a Challenge

Slightly over half (52%) of local nonprofit leaders report financial sustainability as the greatest challenge facing their organizations. They reported the challenge of raising enough money to cover the full cost of doing business. One in four reported they spent more than they raised, resulting in operational deficits. Nearly half of the respondents (42%) reported they had three months or less of cash reserves in the bank. (Good practice is to have at least six months of cash in reserve.)

What can donors do?

The report recommends that donors should give what is needed most: unrestricted and/or general operating support. With this kind of support, nonprofits can cover basic costs, essential to nonprofit health.

“More and more people are turning to nonprofit organizations for an array of basic services, draining their capital and risking their viability,” said Joann Ricci, vice president for the organizational effectiveness initiative at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “There is simply not enough support from government or private sources to meet the growing demand.”

The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness Initiative aims to help the region’s nonprofits identify and meet their capacity challenges in order to reach their highest potential and make the greatest positive impact in their communities.

In response to the findings of this Needs Scan Report 2.0, the Foundation will continue to design and develop capacity-building programs for nonprofits including workshops on strategic partnering and collaboration, fundraising, and board governance.

“In these tough economic times, our goal is to work with nonprofit organizations to strengthen their organizations by giving them the tools they need to address their constant challenges,” said Ricci. For a complete listing of all the workshops and learning opportunities designed for leaders in the nonprofit sector, please visit or call the Greater New Orleans Foundation at (504) 598-4663.