A survey by the Greater Twin Cities United Way found some encouraging signs for the local nonprofit sector but also some worrisome trends.
Conditions appear to be improving but many social service organizations are struggling.
"The nonprofit sector is starting to see improvements," said United Way research director Elizabeth Peterson, who oversaw the survey. "But it's still struggling. I am particularly concerned about the nonprofit employees."
The United Way received responses from nearly 140 agencies it funds. Forty percent said they are seeing increased donations or other signs of an improving economy.
But the majority of agencies reported clients need assistance with more issues. Taking inflation into account, nearly two-thirds of the agencies are operating with less money than they did last year.
About a third of the agencies say they may continue or freeze salaries. A fifth are contemplating hiring freezes, reduced staff hours or layoffs.
"It's a mixed bag with some glimmers of hope and improvement. But, man, we I think we still have a long way to go," Peterson said.