The Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project (LPP) identifies key trends and challenges facing the U.S. nonprofit sector and the innovative strategies nonprofits have adopted in response. To do so, the project has partnered with nonprofit umbrella organizations in several major nonprofit fields and with over 1,100 nonprofit organizations across the country representing diverse fields of nonprofit action.
These organizations participate in regular surveys, or “Soundings,” through which they report on the key trends and developments currently affecting them, and express their opinions on topics of importance to the sector. Soundings also explore promising ways organizations are tackling these challenges. The project summarizes the resulting insights in a series of Communiqués, highlights innovative organizations as “Featured Listening Posts,” and organizes webinars designed to dig deeper into our survey findings.
Listening Posts are the nonprofit organizations who respond to Soundings. This name reflects the fact that these organizations will serve as the project’s “ears” across the nation. The Listening Posts work in one of four major fields of nonprofit activity:
In addition to representing diverse fields of nonprofit action, Listening Posts include organizations of all sizes—from small, neighborhood-based groups, to large multi-state ones—and from all regions of the country. Currently, there are about 1,100 Listening Posts participating in the project. Many organizations find participation to be quite valuable, as evinced by their testimonials.
Reflecting a commitment to providing quick information on pressing issues, project surveys are referred to as “Soundings.” Possible Sounding topics are identified by the project Steering Committee, the Center research staff, and the Listening Post organizations themselves. The Steering Committee then selects a topic for each particular Sounding based on its consideration of which issues are especially pressing and important.
The Listening Post project Soundings have examined a wide range of important topics for nonprofits, including:
There are two sets of Listening Post organizations. The first set has been recruited by the project partners. The second set is a random sample of similar organizations drawn by the Center from a comprehensive list of 990 filers to ensure that Soundings capture the full range of nonprofit trends and developments.
Through this initiative we are:
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