Abstract for: Financial Performance of Mental Health Nonprofit Organizations

Mental illness is a major social problem. In the United States, the vast majority of mental health services and supports are provided through nonprofit organizations. Recent changes in the field of mental health such as the implementation of evidence-based practices, funding cuts, and statewide policy initiatives such as transformation have increased financial pressures on these nonprofits. Yet few dynamic models exist for understanding the impact of these changes on nonprofit mental health organizations and their performance. This paper seeks to address this gap by presenting a model of financial performance of nonprofit mental health organizations. The purpose of this model is to identify some of the key mechanisms driving nonprofit financial performance. The model is based on the longitudinal financial data of 65 nonprofit organizations providing mental health services or supports in a large metropolitan community, and key informant interviews with executive leaders from a subset organizations participating in a three-year longitudinal study. A simulation model is presented along with implications for state policy makers, managers of nonprofit organizations, funders, and organizational scholars.