Nonprofits Report Funding Cuts, Increased Demand and Insufficient Financial Reserves in Latest Marks Paneth Survey

January 24, 2018

New York, NY (January 24, 2018) –  Top 100 accounting, tax and advisory firm Marks Paneth LLP revealed the results of the Winter 2017-2018 Nonprofit Pulse survey at today’s BoardCon conference held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The bi-annual national survey of nonprofit leaders gauges overall attitudes about the conditions and future of the nonprofit industry.

Large and small organizations alike reported difficulties in 2017. Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents experienced funding cuts in the past 12 months. These cuts were deep for 12 percent of them. At the same time, demand for services grew, according to 63 percent of respondents.

While this widening gap between funding and demand was predicted in the Nonprofit Pulse survey fielded in May 2017, fifty-seven percent of organizations surveyed in the winter edition said they underestimated just how difficult the past 12 months would be.

Hope Goldstein, Co-Partner-in-Charge of the Nonprofit, Healthcare & Government Group at Marks Paneth points out that the new tax law could make 2018 even more challenging. “The uncertainty surrounding tax reform’s impact on charitable giving and government funding potentially exacerbates an already stressful situation,” she said.

Compounding these difficulties is the fact that many nonprofit organizations do not have sufficient financial reserves to help weather funding volatility. Nearly one-third of nonprofits surveyed (32 percent) reported having less than two months of cash liquidity. Sixty percent did not have a reserve fund for capital expenses and emergencies. 

“These survey results bring to light just how many nonprofits are ill-prepared to weather unexpected expenses and further funding cuts,” said Goldstein. “The importance of having proactive financial strategies and risk management plans in place is more important than ever.”

Mark Paneth’s Winter Nonprofit Pulse survey is based on the opinions of 337 executives and managers of nonprofit organizations across the nation, including the readership of New York Nonprofit Media.

To receive a copy of the full survey results and/or to speak with a nonprofit leader at Marks Paneth, please contact Corin Huff at or 914.909.3462.


The Nonprofit Pulse represents the findings of a survey of nonprofit leaders in the United States. The 337 nonprofit sector leaders participating in the research include Board Chairs, Presidents, Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers and Treasurers working in a wide range of organizations within the nonprofit sector.

The research employed self-administered questionnaires completed online by respondents. Marks Paneth, the research sponsor, supervised development of the survey questionnaire and Business Research Solutions managed the research project.  Interviews were com

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