Meeting the Moment: Community Organizations Nationwide See Challenging Times Ahead

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It’s a turbulent time for the U.S. economy, as layoffs permeate headlines and inflation chips away at Americans’ ability to purchase groceries, fill up the gas tank, and make rent each month. Our findhelp team knows that economic pressures can have a profound impact on the organizations that serve people seeking help, especially in the winter months. 

That’s why we sponsored a survey to help policy makers, business leaders, donors, and members of the public better understand how nonprofits are reckoning with the challenges they’re facing today. The results of this survey demonstrate that demand for social care services has skyrocketed in the past year, and that the vast majority of community organizations are concerned about their ability to meet the demand for social care services in the current economic climate. 

Since this time last year, findhelp searches have increased substantially as more healthcare organizations have begun to address patients’ SDOH care needs, and as food, rent, and gas prices increased, making basic resources more difficult to access. Our data shows a 113.34% increase in money searches, a 105.57% increase in housing searches, a 90.69% increase in transit searches, and a 88.4% increase in food searches since November 2021. As inflation exacerbates social care needs for underserved Americans, we’re dedicated to helping community organizations meet the moment.

We’re committed to modernizing America’s social safety net by helping connect all people in need and the programs that serve them — with dignity and ease. Our Community Engagement team plans to use this data to design new initiatives to support nonprofits in our network, and we hope that increased awareness about community organizations’ need will inspire donors to contribute to nonprofits and spur policy makers to act on their behalf. 

The following is a summary of the questions our survey posed and responses we received from 323 community organization leaders between October 27 and November 7, 2022.

Survey Results

How much has demand increased?

How much has demand for social care services increased among the people you serve within the past year?

An overwhelming majority of nonprofits (95%) said demand for their services has increased in the past year. 61% of respondents said demand has increased “substantially.” Less than 1% of respondents said they saw a decrease in demand, and only 4% said demand remained the same.

Do you expect an uptick in demand?

Do you expect an uptick in demand for help you provide as we get closer to the holiday season in November and December?

While nearly every organization experienced an increase in demand over the past year, a vast majority (82%) also expects demand to continue increasing through the 2022 holiday season.

How has amount fundraised changed since last year

How has the amount you’ve fundraised changed since this time last year?

Fundraising at nonprofits has not kept up with the increase in demand for services over the past year. In fact, two-thirds (66%) said that fundraising has either stayed the same or decreased as they deal with soaring demand.

Funding streams

How do you feel about what 2023 holds for your organization’s funding streams and ability to meet an increased demand for social care services in the current economic climate?

With fundraising levels that lag far behind the increasing demand for services, 76% of respondents said they are concerned about what the economic climate means for their organization in the coming year.


Do you anticipate there may be budget cuts/layoffs at your non-profit this year or next year that could impact your ability to help people in need?

Despite a forecast for challenging times ahead, nearly half (48%) of respondents said they do not expect to cut staff or budgets. Only 19% believed they would have to cut staff or budgets.

What are your goals for 2023

What are your major goals for 2023? Please check all that apply.

When asked what their goals are for the next year, the most frequent answer, indicated by 83%, was to “increase fundraising / development / donor recruitment.”


Would it be helpful if you had easy access to a technology platform that could eliminate red tape and get people in need immediate access to specific social care services?

Less than a third of nonprofits (29%) indicated that they currently use a technology platform to get people help. 25% said they use a platform already and find it to be helpful. 39% don’t use a technology platform yet, but think it would be helpful to have one.


What is the average response turnaround time when your organization receives a new application, inquiry, or referral for someone in need of your services?

Most nonprofits (73%) say that their average response time to people seeking help is less than two business days.


When turnaround times are longer, what is the main factor contributing to delays?

The biggest reason for longer turnaround times is staffing shortages, indicated by 52% of respondents.

Respondent Profile


What is your primary role at your organization?

Nearly half of all respondents were executives (46%) or board members (2%). 11% of respondents served in a community support role, 5% worked in marketing, 4% worked in fundraising, and 31% in “other.”


What is your level of seniority at your organization?

68% of all respondents were at senior-level or above (26% senior-level, 36% executive, and 6% board of directors). 24% of respondents were mid-level employees, and 8% were entry-level.


What type of communities does your organization currently serve?

The majority of respondents say their organizations serve city or urban communities (69%). Over half of all respondents serve suburban communities (59%) and rural communities (56%), showing a diversity of types of communities served among respondents.


What type of services does your organization provide? (select all that apply)

56% of respondent organizations provide support services/case management, 45% provide housing/rental/utility assistance, and 25% provide financial assistance. Other prominent categories included healthcare (23%), transportation (21%), employment training (19%), and “other” (43%).

Findhelp is the company modernizing America’s social safety net for anyone who needs help or helps others. With the largest network of community-based organizations and proprietary technology that intelligently matches people with the resources they need, findhelp is the fastest and most reliable way to get help with privacy and dignity. Findhelp is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has been enabling healthcare, government, education and other organizations to connect people with the social care resources that serve them since 2010.

To get in touch about the results of this survey, please contact us.

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