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First ever “State of Nonprofits in Oregon” report released at event on PSU campus
Author: Chris Broderick
Posted: May 1, 2012

(Portland, OR) May 1, 2012 -- More than half of Oregon’s charities and nonprofit organizations saw an increase in donations and support last year in spite of the state’s continued sluggish economy, according to a new report released Tuesday by Portland State University and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

In the first report on Oregon’s 10,429 nonprofits, researchers found that 54 percent of nonprofits reported revenue increases in 2011 over the previous year, compared to 20 percent reporting reduced revenue with the rest reporting no change. At the same time, two-thirds of the state’s nonprofits experienced increased demands for services as a result of the struggling economy and other factors.

“The report reveals the sobering reality our nonprofit organizations face every day while they work to build strong communities and contribute to the state’s economy vitality with shrinking resources and internal capacity,” said Carrie Hoops, executive director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

Michael Kaplan, executive director of Cascade AIDS Project, confirmed that nonprofits like his took significant hits in donations from both individuals and foundations during the depth of the recession. Since then, organizations have had to operate leaner with less administration and more emphasis on services.

“The good news is that it’s all starting to come back,” he said.

Other findings:

  • Nonprofits, from hospitals to small neighborhood organizations, provide 166,130 jobs that represent 13 percent of the state’s private sector employment, or more than double the jobs in the construction industry.
  • 57 percent of nonprofits do not have enough operating reserves to cover three months of operating expenses, and nearly one in four nonprofits operate with less than one month of revenue reserves.
  • Women and minorities are heavily represented as employees. Women make up 76 percent of nonprofit staffs, and people of color make up 28 percent.

The data was analyzed by researchers for PSU’s Institute for Nonprofit Management, which was created in the College of Urban and Public Affairs to help policy makers and the public understand the nonprofit sector. The report was funded by the Oregon Community Foundation, the Collins Foundation and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The complete study can be found on www.nonprofitoregon.org.

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability, and sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.