Listening Post Project Publications
Listening Post Project Communiqués report the results of the project’s Soundings. Below, you will find a list of all published Communiqués. The project often supplements these publications with news releases that highlight the most salient findings of a given Sounding; these news releases can be found here.
Please browse the Communiqués below, or or visit the Center’s publications database to browse by category or search by keyword. Click here for blog posts related to the Listening Post Project.
- What Do Nonprofits Stand For? Renewing the nonprofit value commitment (2012)
Listening Post Communiqué #22 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Chelsea L. Newhouse.
This Communiqué reports on the Listening Post Project's survey on nonprofit values. The survey found a widespread consensus that seven values−being productive, effective, enriching, empowering, responsive, reliable, and caring−lie at the core of the nonprofit sector. However, the survey also found that many nonprofit leaders feel that the sector must do a better job of articulating and communicating these values among their stakeholders in the media, government, and general public. In addition to providing the results of this first-of-its-kind survey, this report also puts forth a proposed "renewal strategy" for the sector, to help nonprofits recommit to their core values and to provide a common language for communicating those core values to crucial stakeholders in light of the profound challenges facing the sector around the U.S. today.
- Pushing Back on Taxation of Nonprofits: Some Lessons from the Field: Report from a Listening Post Project Webinar (2012)
Hillary Belzer. Summarizes the findings from the Listening Post Project’s April 2012 webinar on nonprofit taxation and describes four strategies nonprofits can use to fight against proposals for taxes, PILOTs and other fees. This webinar followed up on the Project's 2011 sounding "Taxing the Tax Exempt Sector - A Growing Danger for Nonprofit Organizations".
- Report on the Listening Post Project’s Nonprofit Innovations Webinar (2011)
Summarizes this online roundtable, which dug more deeply into the results of the Listening Post Project’s 2010 Innovation and Performance Measurement Sounding. Participants identified ways in which organizations can accomplish their goals with several approaches to collaboration—connecting with groups outside of their field, working with foundations that foster collaboration among organizations, and establishing relationships with companies that can donate needed services rather than monetary contributions.
- Taxing the Tax-Exempt Sector - A Growing Danger for Nonprofit Organizations (2011)
Listening Post Communiqué #21 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and S. Wojciech Sokolowski.
Examines the extent to which nonprofits are paying taxes, fees, or alternative voluntary payments to local government, the impact of these payments on nonprofits, what nonprofits think of new fee/tax proposals, and what are they doing in response.
- Building Advocacy from Within: Report on the West Coast Listening Post Project Roundtable on Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying (2011)
Summarizes the third Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2007 Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying Sounding. Participants agreed that nonprofits need to look inward to revitalize their advocacy efforts, and that coalitions, funders and policymakers must modify their stance toward advocacy and lobbying.
- The Nonprofit Technology Gap: Myth or Reality? (2010)
Listening Post Communiqué #20 | Stephanie L. Geller, Alan J. Abramson, and Erwin de Leon.
Investigates whether nonprofits been able to integrate sophisticated technologies into their operations and use such technologies to support and enhance delivery of their programs and services. Also examines what variations, if any, exist by organizational size, age, service area, and field, and what challenges are limiting nonprofits’ use of information technologies and preventing them from using such technologies effectively.
- Recession Pressures on Nonprofit Jobs (2010)
Listening Post Communiqué #19 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Mengel.
Examines the impact of the recession is on the nonprofit workforce and on the ability of nonprofits to respond to expanding needs, as well as the potential benefits of the recently enacted HIRE Act to nonprofit employment.
- Report on the Listening Post Project Chicago Roundtable on Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying (2010)
Listening Post Communiqué #18 | Chelsea Newhouse.
Summarizes the findings of the second Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2007 Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying Sounding. The discussion focused on what assets are available to the sector and how to better leverage them to support advocacy efforts.
- Nonprofits, Innovation, and Performance Measurement: Separating Fact from Fiction (2010)
Listening Post Communiqué #17 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Mengel.
Describes the record of innovation and performance measurement in the nation’s nonprofit sector as well as what obstacles, if any, stand in the way of even more effective activity in this area. Also see: Report on the Listening Post Project’s Nonprofit Innovations Webinar (2011).
- Escalating Pension Benefit Costs - Another Threat to Nonprofit Survival? (2009)
Listening Post Communiqué #16 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Mengel.
Explores the prevalence of pension and other retirement benefits at nonprofit organizations, the types of pressures nonprofit executives are experiencing relating to retirement benefit programs and how they are responding, and whether spiraling pension costs are putting nonprofits across the country at risk of shutting down.
- Health Care and Nonprofits: The Hidden Dimension of America’s Health Care Crisis (2009)
Listening Post Communiqué #15 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Spence.
Analyzes the impact of the continuing escalation of health insurance costs on nonprofit organizations and those they employ.
- Impact of the 2007-09 Economic Recession on Nonprofit Organizations (2009)
Listening Post Communiqué #14 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Spence.
Investigates whether nonprofits are facing a decline in revenues and whether they have been forced to reduce their programs and services as a result of the economic downturn. Also describes how nonprofits are responding to recent financial pressures and what consequences, if any, they have had to endure.
- Report on the Nonprofit Advocacy Roundtable (2009)
Listening Post Communiqué #13 | Stephanie L. Geller, and Lester M. Salamon.
Summarizes the findings of the first Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2007 Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying Sounding. Participants agreed that nonprofit involvement in advocacy and lobbying is extensive but constrained and that in the policy process, nonprofits fare better at defense (e.g., preventing cuts) than at offense (e.g., securing new policies).
- Michigan Hosts Roundtable on Nonprofit Investment Capital (2009)
Stephanie Lessans Geller and Lester M. Salamon.
Summarizes the findings of the second Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2006 Nonprofit Investment Capital Sounding. Discussion revolved around 2 main themes: how nonprofits can gain access to investment capital, and the impact of the current credit crisis on their ability to access investment capital now and into the foreseeable future.
- Shovel-Ready but Stalled: Nonprofit Infrastructure Projects Ready for Economic Recovery Support (2009)
Listening Post Communiqué #12 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, Kasey L. Spence, and Wojciech Sokolowsk.
Examines the scope of the problem of stalled shovel-ready infrastructure projects at the nation’s nonprofit organizations. A state-by-state list of shovel-ready projects is available as a supplement to this report.
- Nonprofit Policy Priorities for the New Administration (2008)
Listening Post Communiqué #11 | Lester M. Salamon, Stephanie L. Geller, and Kasey L. Spence.
This survey sought the opinions of America’s crucially important nonprofit executives about what a new national administration could do to equip nonprofits to help Americans cope with the economic crisis. Respondents were asked how useful a series of possible policy measures might be to organizations such as theirs, what their top three policy priorities would be, and whether they agreed with a number of more general policy-related statements.
- Report on the Nonprofit Workforce Roundtable (2008)
Listening Post Communiqué #10 | Stephanie L. Geller, and Lester M. Salamon.
Summarizes the findings of the Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2007 Nonprofit Workforce Sounding. Five lessons emerged from the discussion: 1) The importance of selling “the context” of nonprofit jobs; 2) The realization that new, costly methods do not always have better results; 3) The importance of thinking creatively about bringing people into the sector; 4) The need to re-define work and the working environment; 5) The importance of professionalizing the human resource function.
- Nonprofit America: A Force for Democracy? (2008)
Listening Post Communiqué #9 | Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller, with Susan C. Lorentz.
Examines the challenges affecting nonprofit engagement in policy advocacy, how this varies by field and organizational size, the factors that affect the willingness of nonprofit organizations to engage in lobbying and advocacy, and what forms their involvement takes.
- The Nonprofit Workforce Crisis: Real or Imagined? (2007)
Listening Post Communiqué #8 | Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller.
Investigates whether nonprofit organizations are really facing a crisis in attracting and retaining employees in light of rapidly growing nonprofit employment, whether recruitment and retention problems are concentrated in particular fields or in particular positions, and whether nonprofit managers are finding ways to surmount the very real workforce challenges they are facing.
- Report on the Nonprofit Investment Capital Roundtable (2007)
Listening Post Communiqué #7 | Stephanie Lessans Geller and Lester M. Salamon with Nancy Hall.
Summarizes the findings of the Listening Post roundtable on the Project’s 2006 Nonprofit Investment Capital Sounding. Nonprofits emphasized that they cannot access sufficient investment capital, and providers indicated that capital is available and financial instruments exist that can meet nonprofit needs. Thus, a major disconnect exists between these groups. Participants brainstormed ways to help bridge this gap, including education and the use of financial intermediaries and tax credits.
- Nonprofit Fiscal Trends and Challenges (2007)
Listening Post Communiqué #6 | Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller.
Reports on how nonprofits are coping with challenges such as shifts in government funding, changes in public behavior, new technological demands, growing competition, and major demographic alterations
- The Health Benefits Squeeze: Implications for Delaware Nonprofit Organizations and Those They Serve (2006)
Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller.
Describes the consequences of the significant increases in health benefit costs for Delaware’s nonprofit organizations, noting that they are experiencing higher than average health benefit cost increases and finding it necessary to shift a disproportionate share of the resulting burden to their employees in order to reduce the impact on the populations they serve.
- Investment Capital: The New Challenge for American Nonprofits (2006)
Listening Post Communiqué #5 | Lester M. Salamon with Stephanie L. Geller.
Explores the special challenges nonprofit organizations face in generating investment capital and the degree of success they have had in overcoming them.
- Nonprofit Governance and Accountability (2005)
Listening Post Communiqué #4 | Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller.
Examines the governance and accountability practices that nonprofit organizations are using, focusing on six key areas of nonprofit operations: (1) transparency and financial accountability; (2) board roles and responsibilities; (3) conflict of interest and related ethics protections; (4) adherence to “best practice” standards; (5) changes in organizational structure and mission; and (6) board awareness.
- The Health Benefits Squeeze: Implications for Nonprofit Organizations and Those They Serve (2004)
Listening Post Communiqué #3 | Lester M. Salamon and Richard O’Sullivan.
Describes the higher than average health benefit cost increases for nonprofits and how they are finding it necessary to shift a disproportionate share of the resulting burden to their already less well paid employees in order to reduce the impacts on the populations they serve.
- Stressed but Coping: Nonprofit Organizations and the Current Fiscal Crisis (2004)
Listening Post Communiqué #2 | Lester M. Salamon and Richard O’Sullivan.
Documents the effects of recent economic weakness and government budget cuts on a significant group of the nation’s charitable organizations and those they serve, and assesses how the organizations have responded.
- Taking the Pulse of the Nonprofit Sector (2003)
Listening Post Communiqué #1.
Reports on the inaugural survey of the Listening Post Project, which sought basic background information participating nonprofit organizations as well as an assessment of the major challenges these agencies are facing and the information they consider most needed to be able to respond to these challenges.