Celebrating 30 years of membership at Maryland Nonprofits
The state of Maryland is home to some 37,296 nonprofit organizations which employ nearly 280,159 people,  and the sector is constantly growing. Especially in recent years, many nonprofits have seen a growth in demand for their services as their communities’ need has increased.
Nonprofits face challenges when it comes to meeting that demand; most nonprofits are small organizations often with less than $25,000 in annual revenue, and many organizations are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
We cannot look away from the truth that in Maryland and around the nation, Black and Latino communities were hardest hit by COVID-19, experiencing the highest levels of illness, deaths, job losses, social isolation, and evictions. Our 2021 COVID-19 Pandemic and Racial Equity Survey also showed that nonprofits led by people of color did not receive as much financial support as white-led organizations during the pandemic. 
As such, it is more important than ever that all nonprofits across the state have access to the tools and resources they need to serve their communities. That’s where we come in.
Our Membership Team is dedicated to providing members and nonprofits more generally with the support that they need to be effective, which includes everything from connecting people to our consultants and advocacy team, helping people access their member benefits and navigate our online portal, answering questions, and connecting members with nonprofit peers and service providers through events and our online member community. We have also been working hard to make sure that we are keeping up with the nonprofit sector’s ever-changing needs.
When Maryland Nonprofits was founded in 1992, we had 139 charter members. In just four years that number had jumped to 611 members by the end of 1996, and in another 5 years, we had surpassed 1,000 members. As our membership continues to increase, the membership division keeps evolving alongside our community to meet the demands of such a dynamic sector.
Especially over the past several years, we have made huge strides in improving member services. In 2017, we launched our new member portal which streamlined access to educational resources and group buying opportunities and made it easy for members to manage their accounts and make resources accessible to their staff, volunteers, and board members. Among the portal’s new features were a redesigned and searchable resource library and a new online member community which enables members to network, ask questions, and share news and opportunities with an extensive network of nonprofit peers, service providers, and Maryland Nonprofits’ staff.
Last year we also implemented new customer service software to streamline our operations and allow us to respond to all manner of inquiries more efficiently. We can also now receive customer service ratings so that our members can tell us how we’re doing, and can use their feedback to inform our priorities and improve our services.
Since January 2022, we’ve welcomed two new team members to assist our growing community. In addition to customer service, our new team members are supporting the development of new programs and services, including our Member Organized Groups which launched in April, as well as ramping up our recruitment efforts to connect more nonprofits across the state with our resources to help strengthen the sector and provide support through the aftermath of the pandemic.
Thanks to the efforts of our team, we’re helping more nonprofits across Maryland than ever before. In 2016, we were serving a total of 1,250 members, and for several years our membership stayed steady at about 1,200 members. But this year, with the help of our new team members and our technological developments, our community now includes more than 1,400 members! And that number doesn’t even include the nearly 600 organizations that the membership team serves as part of the Nonprofit Development Center program created in 2008 to serve small, new organizations.
We still have a long way to go. Nonprofits are vital to our communities, and improving quality of life and equity in Maryland and beyond starts with them. For our Membership Team, that means, first and foremost, continuing to put the needs of our members first and listening closely to what they want and need in order to make sure that all of our members feel cared for and supported as they continue to work towards a brighter future for Maryland.
If you’re ready to be our newest member, sign up today using code WER30 to receive 30% off your first year’s dues!