NONPROFIT SECTOR 

 

A recent report, commissioned by The Foraker Group and developed by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research, confirmed that Alaska has approximately 6,000 nonprofits -- more per capita (110 per person) than any other state. The sector employs 30,000 people or 10 percent of Alaska's workforce. Taken together, nonprofit organizations spent nearly $3.5 billion in 2005. That's virtually the same amount they received in revenue. Healthcare providers account for one-third of the spending.

Revenue for nonprofits comes from three sources - fees, government support and private giving - with the federal government providing the largest amount of funding at roughly $1 billion each year, or one-third of all Alaska nonprofit revenue. This percentage far exceeds the amount of federal support seen in other states. At the same time Alaska ranks lowest in the nation in personal giving from households making over $200,000 a year. For these reasons, it is vital that nonprofits operate as efficiently as possible to ensure that every dollar feasible goes to the organization's mission.

 Tips for Nonprofits:

 

Share space.

Acquiring office space with one or more other nonprofits can significantly reduce overhead costs. By sharing space, you also can share utilities, office equipment, supplies, services, storage space and even staff or volunteers! Economizing can help you make a nonprofit budget go further toward achieving your core mission.

Share services.

Even if you don’t directly share your office space with other organizations, chances are you are in leased space with other businesses or organizations. Approach them and your building manager/owner about sharing responsibilities and costs for recycling programs. This can cut down on overall trash costs for both owners and tenants.

Keep everything electronic.

Staff and locations can change more often for nonprofits than in other fields so don’t spend your hard-earned dollars on letterhead and business cards that may become obsolete before they are used. Print-ready letterhead and in-house cards can keep costs down.

Reach your audience electronically.

There are times when hard copy mailings may be necessary but for most communications, you can do it electronically and save on mailing costs.

Reuse what others cast off.

Nonprofits are great at scrounging for office equipment, furniture and supplies. Take advantage of reuse sites like the Alaska Materials Exchange (www.greenstarinc.org), craig’s list and other online resources to find free or cheap furnishings for your office. Don’t take this concept too far though. If someone offers your small nonprofit office a case of Styrofoam plates leftover from a corporate picnic that got rained out, direct them to a homeless shelter to donate the plates and get your reusable plates from the Salvation Army or Value Village.