San Francisco's nonprofit health and human service organizations provide a vast array of crucial services for the City's most vulnerable residents, yet the sector's collective contributions to the City as service providers, employers, and fundraisers had never been substantially documented. To make informed decisions of how best to meet clients' diverse needs, policy makers needed a comprehensive picture of both the breadth of services provided by nonprofits, and the true nature, costs, challenges, and contributions of those organizations.
Working with the San Francisco Urban Institute (SFUI) and the Public Research Institute at San Francisco State University, HSN developed a survey to document and analyze key characteristics of the nonprofit service sector. The data quantifies information on client demographics, cumulative budgets, sources and amount of outside funds leveraged by nonprofits, office space owned and rented, jobs created, employee benefits offered and more. The results permitted us to conduct an analysis of the sector's critical issues, challenges and needs. This information is a vital tool for education and advocacy on issues that affect the quality and effectiveness of services for City residents.
The survey focused on organizations that contract with the City to provide direct health and human services. A total of 169 out of 272 agencies completed the survey, resulting in a significant 62% response rate. The response from large organizations was over 85%, giving very reliable numbers on many critical questions. HSN's strong relationship with the community was invaluable, as 97% of our members responded. These results were sufficient for SFUI to form the basis for reasonable extrapolations from survey responses to the entire sector.
The extrapolated survey data reveals that agencies, with sites reaching every neighborhood and community, had an aggregate budget of over $773 million in fiscal year 2000-2001, including over $313 million in City contracts. Providers matched the City's contribution with over $459 million in additional funds - leveraging every City dollar with an additional $1.50 from other sources. With these funds, agencies achieve over 970,000 client contacts each year. The results also show the nonprofit human service sector to be a significant employer in San Francisco. Providers employ over 15,000 staff and enroll over 1000 "client trainees."
The report illustrates that the City and nonprofits together invest almost $2 billion a year in health and human services. The nonprofit sector accounts for 40% of that unified budget - showing the sector to be a core element of a structurally integrated system rather than a secondary component to a larger City/County system.
HSN and SFUI first presented the results at our New Realities conference in October 2001. We released the final survey report in May 2002 in conjunction with a nonprofit rally to preserve core services in the City's FY 2002-03 budget. HSN also coordinated activities to publicize and distribute the report to the media, nonprofit, philanthropic and government sectors, as well as the public.
Survey Executive Summary
Survey Final Report