Non-profits brace themselves for 2010

Check out this arti­cle in the SF Gate about the strug­gles of non-prof­its in the Bay Area in these chal­leng­ing eco­nom­ic times.

Bay Area nonprofits brace for 2010 shakeout

Sun­day, March 1, 2009

Non­prof­its are see­ing an alarm­ing drop in fund­ing and increased demand for help this year, set­ting the stage for a com­plete shake­up of the sec­tor in 2010.

Unlike reces­sions past, this one could per­ma­nent­ly alter the non­prof­it land­scape, say non­prof­it CEOs, forc­ing pos­si­ble clo­sures and merg­ers as the sec­tor restruc­tures to survive. 

Hard­est hit will be the Bay Area, home to one of the high­est con­cen­tra­tions of non­prof­its in the nation. There are 25,000 non­prof­its in the region; 7,000 in San Fran­cis­co alone. Among them are 10,000 char­i­ta­ble non­prof­its with bud­gets above $25,000. Their com­bined bud­gets account for 14 per­cent of the Bay Area’s gross nation­al prod­uct — twice the nation­al average.

Click here to read the full article.

The arti­cle dis­cuss­es the con­stant fears of non-prof­its around the coun­try includ­ing brac­ing them­selves for a sig­nif­i­cant drop in fund­ing in 2010. Many non-prof­its feel com­fort­able with their bud­gets for 2009 because fund­ing was acquired before the eco­nom­ic down­turn — but 2010 proves to be quite a chal­lenge. Fund­ing from most sources is being cut — foun­da­tions are scal­ing back grant amounts, gov­ern­ment agen­cies are revis­it­ing fund­ing pri­or­i­ties, cor­po­ra­tions are fac­ing their own bud­get cuts, and most indi­vid­u­als are feel­ing more hes­i­tant to donate mon­ey instead of sav­ing it for a “rainy day” that might occur at any moment.

“The Chron­i­cle of Phil­an­thropy, the lead­ing news­pa­per of the non­prof­it world, sur­veyed 73 of the nation’s largest foun­da­tions in Decem­ber about their 2009 grant mak­ing plans and found 39 per­cent expect to decrease the amount they con­tribute to char­i­ties this year.”

How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to note that these are gen­er­al­iza­tions and that some enti­ties are actu­al­ly increas­ing fund­ing because they rec­og­nize the increased need for non-prof­it ser­vices dur­ing this time. A need which does not nec­es­sar­i­ly cor­re­late with an increase in funding.

“The Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, the largest in the world with assets esti­mat­ed at $30 bil­lion, plans to raise its giv­ing from $3.3 bil­lion in 2008 to $3.8 bil­lion in 2009 to help char­i­ties sur­vive. The San Fran­cis­co Foun­da­tion plans to give the same amount to char­i­ties that it did last year, despite a shrink­ing endowment.”

As fund­ing sources and amounts shrink, this is a cru­cial time for non-prof­its to think cre­ative­ly and explore dif­fer­ent options for fundrais­ing. Check out these links for some use­ful tips:

If you are inter­est­ed in attend­ing some work­shops around fundrais­ing dur­ing these tough times — reg­is­ter for the 2009 South Asian Sum­mit to have access to those work­shops and much more!