Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tough Times

A major study produced by Guidestar about the financial health of America's non-profits in the first half of 2010 was released today (7014 respondents) and it contains great validation and little surprise. In short:
  • Charitable contributions decreased greatly.
  • Fewer individuals gave.
  • Gifts from individuals were smaller.
  • Demand for services increased modestly.
  • Foundation grant awards decreased.
  • Foundations made no major changes in their grant making processes.
  • Number of funding requests remained the same.
  • 2010 annual budgets increased slightly over 2009.
  • Budget reductions are due to reductions in activities and services.
  • Volunteerism has stayed the same.
The full study--The Effect of the Economy on the Nonprofit Sector--complete with charts and graphs, can be found here.

It is a tough time out there for nonprofit organizations! But you already knew this... Yet, I am convinced, if you meet the challenge of the times with new perspectives--for leadership, staffing, measurement, donor stewardship, fundraising, service delivery, strategic planning, board management, volunteer recruitment, message management...everything-- you will come through in a better place.

What are you learning from these times? You have a solid sense for now...what's next? Try removing money (funding, fundraising, etc.) from the equation for a moment...what's going on in your organization? Here's the creative, new perspective part...what solutions can you come up with that do not require money (funding, fundraising)? Money is just one of the many tools you have available to deliver the services you are committed to; what are the other tools you have available and how well are you using them?

The inward journey during a time of external chaos is worth exploring. Give it a try!

And give me a call if I can be of service to you.