The sgENGAGE Podcast Episode 161: The State of the Social Sector

We’ve seen evolving challenges and change of 2020, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the racial justice movement. From economic challenges to increased service delivery demands, social good organizations have been impacted in many ways. While it is difficult to determine the future extent of economic impacts, there are valuable insights to be gleaned from historic trends in giving.


In today’s episode, Ashley Thompson, Managing Director of the Blackbaud Institute, discusses the Institute’s new State of the Social Sector series with host Steve MacLaughlin. Listen to the interview to hear Ashley talk about what the data indicates about the social sector right now, how organizations can remain resilient and why organizations should look at history to help inform future actions.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • The new State of the Social Sector reports from the Blackbaud Institute
  • Building resilient programs
  • The historical impact of economic changes and challenges on social good communities
  • Surprising findings in the Institute’s latest research
  • How organizations can positively leverage the moment in 202
  • The importance of renewed focus on fundraising fundamentals
  • The value of being nimble
  • Making data actionable

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Listen Now:


Ashley Thompson

State of the Social Sector Series

Blackbaud Institute Index



“As we all know, 2020 is shaping up to be a real mixed bag.”

“What’s interesting, though, is that you see this continuation of generosity, kind of through the ages.”

“We talk about retention, and we talk about retention, and we talk about retention, but unfortunately, it’s still the same case.”