Economic data on major sectors of the economy are regularly collected and reported in the media and in industry-specific reports. For example, data about the real estate and financial markets are regularly published and available for use in decision-making by sector leaders, government officials, investors, and consumers.
Nonprofit sector leaders do not typically have the same access to timely, sector-specific information. In fact, data regarding the nonprofit sector is usually derived from the IRS Form 990 and, consequently, has a lag time of at least a year or more.
To address this lack of timely data, the Caster Center at the University of San Diego developed in 2011 the State of Nonprofits Quarterly Index (SoNP). Published quarterly, the SoNP reports on six distinct indicators that have a direct impact on the economic health of San Diego’s nonprofit sector: public confidence, individual giving, volunteering, demand for services, nonprofit employment, and overall unemployment.
In June 2014, the Caster Center released its 2nd SoNP annual report, presenting and analyzing findings from 11 quarters worth of data.
I have been privileged not only to work on the State of Nonprofits Index but also to report the findings for the Nonprofit Quarterly. For more information or to read the report, please click on the links below.