Nonprofit Standards, A Benchmarking Survey

June 2017



Each of the 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the U.S. is a unique entity with a specific mission, but they all face a common set of dynamic challenges. Although the country at large has entered a period of economic recovery, times are still trying for nonprofit organizations. 

The early days of the new presidential administration have ushered in a period of uncertainty for many nonprofits as concern mounts around the future of federal agency budgets and priorities. Increasing demand for transparency from donors and regulators, potential revenue cutbacks, the focus on long-term sustainability and competition to recruit and retain top talent all stand as potential obstacles for the nonprofit sector in the year ahead. 

How to Use this Survey

In order for nonprofits to analyze their own metrics, The BDO Institute for Nonprofit ExcellenceSM developed Nonprofit Standards, a benchmarking survey designed in partnership with The NonProfit Times to provide tax‑exempt organizations with a useful barometer to measure performance across a variety of areas including strategic planning, operations, scope and impact, human resources and governance matters. 

The data collected from nonprofit CFOs and executive directors from more than 100 nonprofits represents a cross-section of organizations in terms of revenue and subsectors—with public charities and health and human services (HHS) organizations comprising the majority of respondents. With specific drill downs by organization and revenue type, nonprofits of all sizes and across all sectors can use the data in the report to understand how they compare to their peers which, in turn, can help them make important strategic decisions that can lead to long-term sustainability and success. 

For more information, visit the BDO Institute for Nonprofit ExcellenceSM.

Explore the Survey

Click or tap the graphics below to explore the different sections of the Survey. 

Strategic Planning
Scope & Impact  
Human Resources  
Survey Methodology & Respondents  
“Nonprofits are tireless champions of change in communities in the U.S. and across the world. Created with these invaluable organizations in mind, BDO’s first annual Nonprofit Standards addresses a persistent question among nonprofit leaders: ‘How does my organization measure up?’ Organizations can use this benchmarking survey to inform the critical financial and operational decisions necessary to continue their missions.”

Web-headshot-circle_DeArmond.jpg Web-headshot-circle_Cole.jpgLaurie De Armond and Adam Cole
Partners and National Co-Leaders, Nonprofit & Education Practice

For more information on BDO's service offerings, please contact one of the following leaders: 

Laurie De Armond
Partner and National Co-Leader, 
Nonprofit & Education Practice

Adam Cole
Partner and National Co-Leader, 
Nonprofit & Education Practice