Most Americans Think Nonprofits Spend 60% Too Much on Overhead

New study sheds light on donor perceptions of financial efficiency at nonprofits.

Only 1 in 4 Americans has "a highly positive view" of the financial efficiency of nonprofits, according to a recently released study.

Grey Matter Research's "Where'd My Money Go?", which examines a survey of more than 1,000 American adults, reveals that an almost-equal proportion (22 percent) of Americans view nonprofit management in a highly negative light, believing that the average nonprofit spends 60 cents or more of every donated dollar on overhead costs.

However, the average perception of nonprofit spending on overhead is about 36 cents per dollar – still 14 cents more than most people said nonprofits should reasonably be spending on overhead.

The study notes that certain factors – such as a respondent's age, income, and ethnicity – may influence one's beliefs about how much money nonprofits spend on overhead. Respondents over the age of 50 were more likely to believe that nonprofits spent more than necessary, compared to only 52 percent of those ages 18 to 34.

Similarly, the lower a ...

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