This is my yearly column of predictions and trends for nonprofits. I was pleased to speak with Jeffrey Moore, Chief Strategy Officer for Independent Sector, a national membership organization that promotes a healthy, equitable charitable sector through research, community building, and public policy, who shared insights and data from their research.

1) Staffing shortage

This will be the number one challenge facing nonprofit leaders in 2023. While the nonprofit sector is the third largest private employer in the U.S., the sector lost 1.6 million jobs during the pandemic. Many of those employees have not returned. To maintain a vibrant workforce, and compete for senior leadership positions, nonprofits must offer competitive salaries and ensure a healthy work environment. This will include a flexible work schedule, remote work, and making employee mental health an organizational priority.

2) Maintaining public trust

One of the most pressing issues impacting the health of the nonprofit sector is maintaining public trust. Research conducted for the past three years by Independent Sector and Edelman Data shows nonprofits are the most trusted of public institutions, however, this trend is on a downward slope. “Trust is our currency,” says Jeffrey Moore, and tantamount to success. Research indicates that when nonprofits are transparent and deeply engaged with their community, trust in those communities goes up.


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