This Human Services Spotlight is adapted from the CCS Fundraising 2023 Philanthropy Pulse report to provide an in-depth look at nonprofits in this sector.  

Explore the 2023 Philanthropy Pulse report in its entirety.

2021 was a strong fiscal year, with over two-thirds of 230 respondents reporting increased revenue over the prior year.

61% of respondents noted an increased number of new donors throughout the year, despite donor acquisition and retention being cited as the most significant challenges. Relationship building and retention strategies include targeted mailings/emails (80%) and adding donors to the organization’s newsletter list (79%). Of newly developed practices over the last 2 years, over 70% of respondents plan to continue an enhanced social media presence.

33% of respondents stated that diversity, equity, and/or inclusion (DEI) were extremely important for strategic plans for future fundraising priorities. However, most respondents (36%) reported that DEI was only occasionally included in donor conversations. Organizations have addressed DEI by offering training to fundraising staff and/or board members (56%), modifying messaging (43%), and fundraising for new projects or programs related to DEI (42%). Learn specific ideas on integrating DEI practices into board activities.

Survey responses indicated that donor-advised funds (82%) and family foundations (88%) made up the largest noncash gift source, far exceeding other donation vehicles, with the biggest obstacles to receiving noncash contributions being staff knowledge and the ability to explain the noncash gifting process. Similarly, respondents noted that their fundraising staff capabilities were weakest in gift planning/planned giving, with 14% stating their organization was not at all knowledgeable in this area.

Human services organizations were among the most likely to report an expected increase in corporate and foundation giving in 2023, with nearly half of all organizations anticipating an increase in each source, respectively.

Over 60% of all respondents reported that over half of their received gifts are unrestricted.

In the past year, over half of respondents cite increased demand or outsized funding growth in the areas of housing assistance and mental health assistance.

Roughly half of all human services organizations have or will increase their fundraising staff between 2022 and 2023.

The data on this page was curated from a questionnaire taken by nearly 1,200 organizations during the fall of 2022 reporting on FY21 results.