In a survey of LGBT non-profit organizations, leaders of community groups identified several areas of their operations in need of improvement and outlined their needs.

In March, qnotes sent its first-ever Community Assessment Survey to 22 LGBT non-profit organizations, AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and Pride festivals across the Carolinas.

Of the 21 organizations still in operation (one had merged with another survey participant), 17 returned the Community Assessment Survey along with responses to financial disclosure requests. Of those, 15 completed the survey’s section on Organizational Strengths, Weaknesses and Needs.

At a glance

Community non-profits, at a glance: qnotes drills down 22 non-profit organizations’ expenses, revenue, top officers and employees and their salaries. Click on the image at right to download (PDF) our “At a glance” table.

Each survey participant was asked to fill out a section ranking different areas of organizational operation and functions. First, they were asked to identify whether they were weakest or strongest in any of those areas. They were then asked to identify which areas of operation were in least or most need of improvement.

Groups were also given the chance to list specific items on their “Wish Lists.”

Fundraising, communication among top needs

Fourteen of the 15 groups were in agreement on their need for new members, donors and revenue streams, as well as better community outreach and communication.

Nearly half or more of the groups said they needed media training/better media relations (7), better internal technologies (7) and better external technology/online outreach (8). In addition, six said their groups needed a better community education strategy and five said they needed improvement in leader development and youth outreach.

Without surprise, none of the organizations identified fundraising or community outreach among their least needed areas of operation. Six of the 15 groups said they least needed better political activism/advocacy strategy and four said they least needed better internal technologies and better leader development/youth outreach.

Orgs identify media weaknesses

While most groups (11 of 15) said they were strongest at community outreach and eight said they were strongest at media communications/relations, six others said they were weakest when it comes to outreach to the media — the largest identified need among the 15 groups participating.

Internal technologies, such as the need for better computers or other equipment and software, ranked second in self-identified organizational weaknesses. In fact, several organizations included laptop and desktop computers, printers, fax machines and copiers among the items on their wish lists.

Several organizations also noted a need for investment in social media and technology, including funding for tech development, website redesigns and marketing resources.

Make a Wish…

Of the organizations included in this year’s Community Assessment Survey, 13 opted to answer questions regarding their single-largest need or concern, and took the opportunity to list items from their Wish Lists. Their responses are below.

AIDS Care Service of Winston-Salem
Largest need/concern: Pro bono strategic planning consultants.
Wish list: Volunteers; Household items for transitional apartments and family care home; Canned and non-perishable foods for food pantry.

ALFA (Hickory)
Largest need/concern: ADAP funding; Transition from traditional ASO to medical model.

Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina (Raleigh)
Largest need/concern: Volunteers.
Wish list: Freezers for food pantries in Durham County and Wake County client services offices.

Campus Pride (Charlotte)
Largest need/concern: Technology and Social Media Investment.
Wish list: Individual donors; Youth internship funding; Youth scholarships; Local housing for summer interns; Corporate sponsors; Donations for Camp; Local event sponsors.

Faith in America (Hickory)
Largest need/concern: Additional organizational structure.
Wish list: Additional foundational support; Broader outreach; Greater social media capacity.

Guilford Green Foundation (Greensboro)
Largest need/concern: GGF has one full-time paid staffer. One or two part-time/contract staffers would greatly enhance productivity and impact.
Wish list: Technology training funds for staff development; Marketing resources, contract services and marketing materials; Sponsorship (one year) of a full-service printing company; New office laptop and software; Website redesign.

LGBT Center of Raleigh
Largest need/concern: Better connected board members.
Wish list: Laptop computer; Clearning services for Center; Print/Ink/Paper; Vacuum cleaner.

Largest need/concern: Improved communication with/involvement from community.
Wish list: Donations; Volunteers.

Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services (Columbia)
Largest need/concern: Media communications; Image branding; Guidance on future trends.
Wish list: IT Support; PR and marketing support; Testing van; Media development; Webmaster.

Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (Charlotte)
Largest need/concern: Layoffs create need for volunteers in administration, fundraising and marketing who are able to take on a project and run with it, and volunteers who are available during the day.
Wish list: Bus passes; Gift cards to grocery or discount stores; Food for consumer events; Copy paper; Black and white laser printer with duplex capability; Color laser printer; New computer equipment.

Southern Country Charlotte
Largest need/concern: We’ve lost some of our revenue streams over the past year and our membership is down. Visibility and external communications are somewhat lacking.

Time Out Youth (Charlotte)
Largest need/concern: Space — Ideally, Time Out Youth would have a facility capable of housing our offices as well as the capacity to temporarily house out-of-home youth. Until this dream is realized, significant improvements are needed to our current space. These improvements include: carpet, painting (paint and painters), lighting and electrical wiring.
Wish list: Tall bookcases; Printer/fax machine; Computer desks; Computers (min. 80 gig hard drive); Card tables; Dorm size refrigerator (6 cubic feet); Microwave; Board games; Sofas; Storage cabinets.

Western N.C. AIDS Project (Asheville)
Largest need/concern: Additional space.
Wish list: Donations to Client Discretionary Fund. : :

— NC Pride did return its survey, but it was received too late for inclusion in this article.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.