The nonprofit sector is always in flux. In the new year, Oregon has changes in the laws governing nonprofits (see our tip sheet here). Donations from both individuals and businesses are down. Organizations across the state and the country wonder how this will affect our work.

We asked a variety of nonprofit experts, “What do you predict for the nonprofit sector in 2020?” Many of our respondents will be teaching sessions at our Guiding More Good conference. For two more weeks, you can save $30 with our early bird rate. We hope to see you there!


“As we move through the 2020 election cycle, certain issues at the heart of our political discourse will dominate the public discussion and, thus, grab the lion’s share of attention in terms of giving and community activism. Some of these items will burn brightly and then fade from our collective consciousness after a news cycle while others may stick for months or years to come. Nonprofits that flourish in 2020 and beyond will resist the pull of the political back-and-forth to remain focused on their long-term strategy and goals.”
Colby Reade, Director of Communications, The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

“Donor connections and relationships will be even more important in this election year. Donors will expect more of an experience and not just a transaction.”
Dianne Alves, Consultant and Trainer, Fresh Take Consulting, LLC

“Tremendous and fierce competition for funds from small donors given (a) what is likely to be a exponential increase in political campaign fundraising and (b) the sharp drop in people who give to maximize their itemized deductions now that the standard deduction is so large.”
John Gear, Attorney, John Gear Law Office LLC

“Unsettled weather ahead. Which makes predicting the future as difficult as predicting snow in Oregon. So keeping an eye on what’s happening on both the micro level (your organization, donors, clients) and macro (economy, etc.) will be important and call for flexibility and perhaps, last minute adjustments.”
Linda Golaszewski, Program Manager Nonprofit Programs, Portland State University

“Nonprofits will be working hard to develop innovative fundraising strategies that include revenue streams they might not have put much emphasis on before. Organizations that have relied on individual giving as their main source of revenue, especially, will be looking to build strength in areas such as earned revenue and business partnerships. And they’ll need to find new ways to communicate their impact in order to drive sustainability.”
Jenn Clemo, Executive Director, Center for Nonprofit Stewardship